A recent email from the Inspector to CEC points to the possibility of the Local Plan being withdrawn, then resubmitted for examination after public consultations on Site Allocations. The earliest date for re-examination would be October:
Cheshire East Possible Timeline for Examination Resumption
The Inspector has noted the Council’s suggested timeframe for the resumption of the examination. He notes that the Council suggests public consultation on draft sites, followed by resumption of the examination to deal with the amended overall housing and employment land provision and later the resumption of the examination to deal with specific sites. However, it may be more appropriate to resume the hearings to deal with the objective assessment of housing need (including any cross-boundary implications), employment requirements, Green Belt assessment, spatial distribution and site assessment before consulting on new and amended strategic site allocations. Furthermore, in his recent communication to the Council , the Inspector drew attention to the need to avoid substantial changes to the submitted plan and significant alterations to the underlying strategy. Consultation on a significantly amended overall housing and employment land provision figure, along with a set of new and/or amended sites, may constitute the type of substantial amendments to the submitted plan, which might suggest that the submitted plan should be withdrawn and resubmitted when all the necessary community engagement and public consultation has been completed. Apart from the stakeholder engagement workshops, he is not aware of the nature of any other engagement and consultation with the community and other stakeholders before drawing up the amended strategy, including specific new and amended sites and assessment of alternative sites. Until the Inspector sees and considers the nature and scope of the amendments to the plan, he cannot commit to a timetable for resuming the examination.
In terms of availability, at present, the Inspector is available on 7-9 October 2015, 21-23 October 2015, 26 October-13 November 2015 and 7-18 December 2015, but is not available on most other dates (including 6 October and 24 November-4 December 2015).
Thanks. Stephen J Pratt – Development Plan Inspector 1st June 2015