Local Plan 2031 Part 2: Examination

Vale of White Horse District Council submitted the Local Plan 2031 Part 2: Detailed Policies and Additional Sites to the Secretary of State on Friday 23 February 2018 for independent examination. 

Local Plan 2031 Part 2 Examination timetable

  • Local Plan Submission for Examination               23 February 2018
  • Deadline for Participation Request                      12 June 2018
  • Deadline for Receipt of Written Statements         12 June 2018
  • Hearing start date                                             3 July 2018
  • Hearings closed                                                6 September 2018

The following documents were prepared for the submission of the Part 2 plan:

The Inspector

Planning Inspector Mr David Reed BSc DipTP DMS MRTPI has been appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness of Vale of White Horse Local Plan.

The Inspector's task is to consider the soundness of the submitted Plan, based on the criteria set out in paragraph 182 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework).  The relevant soundness criteria are whether the Local Plan is:

  1. positively prepared (based on a strategy that seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development);
  2. justified (the most appropriate strategy when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence);
  3. effective (the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities); and
  4. consistent with national policy (the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the Framework).

The Inspector will take account the representations submitted upon the Local Plan at Regulation 19 stage as far as they relate to soundness considerations.  A number of informal debates will take place on the principal matters identified by the Inspector - these are termed Hearing Sessions. 

Following the closure of the Examination, the inspector, Mr David Reed BSc DipTP DMS MRTPI, will prepare a report to the District Council with precise recommendations, these recommendations may include modifications to the Local Plan, if such a request is made by the District Council. 

A Guidance Note (80.7 KB) PDF has been prepared by the Inspector to help people understand the process.  Any queries people may have regarding the Examination process should be directed to the Programme Officer who will be happy to assist.

Procedural Correspondence

Occasionally, it will be necessary for the Inspector to write to the Council to offer procedural direction or to seek information.

Correspondence between the Inspector and the Council is exchanged through the Programme Officer. For transparency and information purposes procedural correspondence from the Inspector is published below:

PC01 – Inspector’s Preliminary Questions (40.0 KB) PDF

PC01.1 – Vale’s Response (108.2 KB) PDF

PC02 – Inspector’s Letter to Summarise the Close of Hearings (42.2 KB) PDF

The council responded to the Inspector's Letter (PC02) through the submission of four documents, listed below: 

The Council received the Inspector's Post Hearing Letter on 30 October. It is available here:

PC03 - Inspector's Post Hearing Letter to VoWH Dated 30 October 2018 (4.8 MB) PDF

PC03.1 - VoWH initial response to Inspector's Post Hearing Letter Dated 30 October 2018 (223.6 KB) PDF

The Council sent a full response to the Inspector on 20 November. It is available here:

PC03.2 – VOWH full response to Inspector’s Post Hearing Letter Dated 30 October 2018 (1.5 MB) PDF

This response was approved at Council on 19 November. The Council papers are available here.

The Inspector responded to the Council's letter (PC03.2) on 27 November 2018.  It is available to view here: 

PC03.3 - Inspector's Response to VoWH Letter Dated 20 November 2018

The Council sent the following additional information to the Inspector on 30 November:

PC03.4 - VOWH Letter to Inspector - Transport and Air Quality Dated 30 November 2018

PC03.4.1 - Transport Delivery Report for Dalton Barracks Dated 30 November 2018

PC03.4.2 - Cumulative Impact of Planned Growth on AQMAs Dated 30 November 2018

The Council received the Inspector's Post Hearing Letter (Part 2) from the Inspector on 19 December. It is available here:

PC04 - Inspector's Post Hearing Letter to VOWH (Part 2) Dated 19 December 2018

Inspector's final report

The Planning Inspector issued his final report on Local Plan 2031 Part 2 (LPP2) to the Council on 25 June 2019. The Inspector’s report concludes that the Plan is ‘Sound’. A copy of the Inspector’s Report and Appendix that contains the Schedule of Main Modifications can be viewed and accessed below.

Until such time that the LPP2 is adopted as a formal council document, the policies within it will carry significant weight when the council makes decisions on planning applications. Where the Council adopts LPP2 as a formal document, the plan’s policies will carry full weight in decision making.

The process of adoption (of the LPP2) will be through the resolution at a future meeting with Full Council. The Council will seek to make its decision on the adoption of LPP2 as soon as is reasonably practicable in accordance with the relevant Regulations.

Programme Officer

The Programme Officer (Ian Kemp), an independent officer, acted as the contact for any person during the Examination and as the liaison between the Inspector, District Council and Representors. With the issuance of the Inspectors final report, the work of the Programme Officer is concluded, and all matters relating to the Local Plan Part 2 should be directed to the Planning Policy team.

Examination Library and Evidence Base Documents

All documentation relating to the preparation, Submission and Examination of the Local Plan can be viewed in the Council's Examination Library.  This includes documents referred to within, and used to inform, the Local Plan, alongside Regulation 19 consultation responses, Written Matter Statements, Procedural Correspondence with the Inspector, and documents submitted during the Examination Hearing Sessions.  All documents are listed in the Examination Library List.

Examination Library and List can be accessed through the links below:  


The representations submitted as part of the Local Plan 2031 Part 2 Publication Period can be accessed here:

The Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 Part 2 and accompanying documents are available for inspection at the Council Offices, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14 4SB, weekdays from 8:30am until 5.00pm (4.30pm Fridays), and at local libraries across the district.

Hearing Sessions Venue and Timetable

Hearing Sessions took place over a three week period across July and September. 

The Hearing Session agendas are available to view below: 

The Inspector's Matters and Questions discussed at the Hearing Sessions are available to view below: 

Written Statements

In response to the Inspector's Matters and Questions the following written statements were received and are available to view and access through the link below: 

Last reviewed: 26 - 06 - 2019

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