Local Plan Update

03 Jun 2007

Many of you will have received the Local Plan update from Swale Borough Council last week, however for those that have not here is a summarised version.

The Inspectors report which will decide the outcome of the six hectare expansion of the Kent Science Park outside its present security fence will not be out until December. This will then become officially adopted and come into force in February,

For the record I would remind you that the council has no ability to change or question the inspector’s verdict as it is final and binding.

The council go on to discuss some technicalities with regards to the expiration of the existing plan and having to extend its life once more until the new plan is finally adopted. The only questionable remark is that they suggest that they will “further save most, but not all, of the polices”.

We can not see how they would be able to selectively amend any policy without having some knowledge of the inspector’s likely decision on any given matter. So it begs the question as to why they don’t just extend the existing plan in its entirety.

The council then embark on a discussion about the Local Development Framework (LDF) which is a new style planning arrangement that will replace the Local Plan we have just spent years producing. This is unlikely to come into effect for a few years yet, however it will come in before 2016 when the new Local Plan should have run up to.

Some residents have expressed some concern with regards to this, but I would suggest that the new LDF arrangement will most likely still retain the opportunity for our input. I’m not fully up to speed on this yet, but I can’t imagine we will be excluded from the process.