Gravel Pit Inspector critical of OCC

Interestingly the Inspector for the Examination in Public has come up with the following comments on the County Council’s submission to the Core Strategy:

Note 1: “…a glance through the papers shows that some still make extensive reference to superseded policy, which is now entirely irrelevant, and could be misleading, particularly to representors…”

Note 2: “…The Council chose not to make any alterations to the Plan between Consultation and Submission stages in response to the representations made. While the Hearing process will provide the opportunity to discuss the representations in detail, the Background Papers are said to be living documents that may continue to be revised. The Council is strongly advised to take this opportunity of reviewing the Background Papers to consider such representations and where it considers that Modifications to the Plan are required in order to ensure compliance with national policy, then this should be identified in the revised Papers…”

Note 3: “…Most of this information is either a legal requirement or practically essential to my Examination of the Plan. It was disappointing, to say the least, that it was not available to me and to representors on submission…” 

“…I have concluded that the Council was far from ready for the Examination when it submitted the Core Strategy and will not be close to being ready for some time to come…”

“…it is not possible for any failure to comply with the Duty [to cooperate] to be rectified. Consequently, any such a failure would be fatal to the Plan…”

“…if I do not receive the DTC paper by 10th December and the updated Background Papers by the end of January, I am minded to suspend the Examination completely until such time as I am satisfied that the Council is adequately prepared to continue…”

Hard to believe, but obviously the County Council are currently failing in their ability to present a coherent submission to the inspector. Let’s hope this lack of preparedness and attention to detail will help our case.

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