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Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU) - public consultation

Guidance on how to respond

At this formal stage of consulting on our Draft Local Plan, there are legal rules about how we run the consultation and guide you to respond. This is called the Statement of Representations Procedure, and contains standard wording.

Statement of Representations Procedure and Availability of Documents

Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 – Regulation 19 Publication Bath and North East Somerset Local Plan Partial Update

Title of document

Bath and North East Somerset Local Plan Partial Update Submission Version and supporting documents.

Subject matter and area covered

This is the Publication draft version of the Bath & North East Somerset Local Plan Partial Update (LPPU), also called the Regulation 19 Pre-submission Draft Plan. Representations at this stage should only be made on the legal compliance and soundness of the LPPU, that is:  

  • Has the plan been prepared in accordance with all legal and procedural requirements?
  • Does the plan meet the prescribed tests of soundness (see below)?

The LPPU is prepared on behalf of Bath & North East Somerset Council. It is the councils’ chosen plan. It contains an update of parts of the existing Development Plan (the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan), which is the planning strategy for growth in Bath and North East Somerset from 2014 to 2029.

The main areas of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan that are updated are as follows:

  • Updating particular policies, to address changes in circumstances and national policy and legislation since our Core Strategy was adopted in 2014, particularly the Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency and an Ecological Emergency
  • Updating and replenishing housing supply, in order to ensure the Core Strategy requirement for housing up to 2029 can be met
  • Updating specific policies to address a number of other urgent issues, such as transport policies, including reviewing parking standards, and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)
  • Amending specific policies for clarity and to ensure they are aligned with up-to- date national policy

The plan documents are supported by a Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment which evaluates the draft plan, and other evidence which is also available for comment on soundness and legal compliance.

Publication period

The period for submission of representations will be for 6 weeks between Friday 27 August and Friday 8 October 2021 (the consultation will close at 23:59). Representations must be received by the Bath & North East Somerset Planning Policy Team within this period. No representations will be accepted outside of this period.

How to view the documents

During the representations period, copies of the Bath & North East Somerset Local Plan Partial Update and other proposed submission evidence base documents will be available to view on our website.

Due to restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the complete plan and supporting documentation will only be published online, in accordance with the latest Government guidance. However, we will endeavour to make limited relevant hard copy material available, on request and where possible.

How to submit a representation

You can respond to the Plan online, or by post.


Submit comments online

By post

You will need a copy of our Publication Representation Form to make your comment.

Written representation forms should be sent to:

  • Bath & North East Somerset Planning Policy Team
  • Lewis House
  • Manvers Street
  • Bath BA1 1JG

All comments will be submitted to the Secretary of State with the Plan, together with a summary of the main issues raised during the representations period.  They will be considered as part of a public examination by an independent planning inspector. Representations at the Regulation 19 stage must be made available in line with the regulations. This includes publication on the LPPU website, and we must make the names of anyone who comments at this stage available to the Planning Inspector. However, the address or other contact details of those who have made representations will not be published, but may be used by the programme officer to contact participants and administer the examination.

Respondents should endeavour to provide all the necessary evidence and supporting information to support their representations and suggested modifications. You should not assume that you will have a further opportunity to make submissions. Where groups or individuals share a common view on the plan, it is helpful if they make a single representation which represents their views, rather than a large number of separate representations repeating the same points. In such cases, the group should indicate how many people it is representing and how the representation has been authorised.

Please consider carefully how you would like your representation to be dealt with in the examination: whether you are content to rely on your written representation, or whether you wish to take part in hearing session(s). Only representors who are seeking a change to the plan have a right to be heard at the hearing session(s), if they so request. In considering this, please note that written and oral representations carry the same weight and will be given equal consideration in the examination process.

Further guidance and advice on the examination process is available on the GOV.UK website.

Legal compliance and duty to co-operate

The following should be considered before making a representation on legal compliance:

  • The plan should be included in the Local Planning Authorities (LPA’s) current Local Development Scheme (LDS) and the key stages set out in the LDS should have been followed. The LDS is effectively a programme of work prepared by the LPA, setting out the plans it proposes to produce. It will set out the key stages in the production of any plans which the LPA proposes to bring forward for examination. If the plan is not in the current LDS it should not have been published for representations. The LDS should be on the LPA’s website and available at its main offices.

  • The process of community involvement for the plan should be in general accordance with the LPA’s Statement of Community Involvement [SCI] (for B&NES this is the Neighbourhood Planning Protocol).  The SCI sets out the LPA’s strategy for involving the community in the preparation and revision of plans and the consideration of planning applications.

  • The LPA is required to provide a Sustainability Appraisal [SA] report when it publishes a plan. This should identify the process by which SA has been carried out, and the baseline information used to inform the process and the outcomes of that process. SA is a tool for assessing the extent to which the plan, when judged against reasonable alternatives, will help to achieve relevant environmental, economic and social objectives.

  • The plan should comply with all other relevant requirements of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, as amended [PCPA] and the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012, as amended [the Regulations].

The following should be considered before making a representation on compliance with the duty to co-operate:

  • Section 33A of the PCPA requires the LPA to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis with neighbouring authorities and certain other bodies over strategic matters during the preparation of the plan. The LPA will be expected to provide evidence of how they have compiled with the duty.

  • Non-compliance with the duty to co-operate cannot be rectified after the submission of the plan. Therefore, the Inspector has no power to recommend modifications in this regard. Where the duty has not been compiled with, the Inspector cannot recommend adoption of the plan.


The tests of soundness are set out in paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Plans are sound if they are:

  • Positively prepared: Providing a strategy which, as a minimum, seeks to meet the area’s objectively assessed needs, and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring authorities is accommodated where it is practical to do so, and is consistent with achieving sustainable development

  • Justified: An appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence

  • Effective: Deliverable over the plan period, and based on effective joint working on cross boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground

  • Consistent with national policy: Enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the NPPF.

If you think the content of the plan is not sound because it does not include a policy on a particular issue, you should go through the following steps before making representations:

  • Is the issue with which you are concerned already covered specifically by national planning policy?
  • Is the issue with which you are concerned already covered by another policy in this plan?
  • If the policy is not covered elsewhere, in what way is the plan unsound without the policy?
  • If the plan is unsound without the policy, what should the policy say?

Requests to be notified of the progress of the LPPU

Representations may be accompanied by a request to be notified of the progress of the LPPU. For example, the progress could be reported at these stages:

  • When the Plan is submitted for independent examination
  • When the independent examination report is published
  • When the plan is adopted