Local Plan review

A new Local Plan for Bexley

The Council is reviewing and updating the Borough’s planning policies in a document, known as the Local Plan. 

The Local Plan will set out the planning framework for the borough for the period to 2038 and will cover issues such as housing provision; the economy, retail, and town centres; local character and design; infrastructure provision; and the environment. It will set out policies by which planning applications will be determined and proposals for where new development should be located. 

Once adopted, the new Bexley Local Plan, will replace the Bexley Core Strategy and Saved UDP policies 2012. 

Each stage of our local plan production is set out below and is guided by the regulations set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. The Draft Local Plan is currently at the submission stage. 

Preferred Approaches Consultation (Regulation 18)

Between February and April 2019, we publicly consulted on our Regulation 18 stage Preferred approaches to planning policies and land use designations (PDF) document with an accompanying Integrated impacts assessment scoping report (PDF).

Publication of the Draft Local Plan (Regulations 19, 20 and 21)

We carefully considered all views received during the Regulation 18 stage public consultation and made appropriate revisions to the document which became the Regulation 19 stage Draft Local Plan.

Between May and July 2021, we made our Regulation 19 stage Draft Local Plan Proposed Submission Documents available for public inspection so that individuals, groups or businesses had the opportunity to make representations (under Regulation 20) on the soundness and legal compliance of the plan.

The opinion of the Mayor of London as to the Plan’s general conformity with the London Plan was also requested at this stage in accordance with Regulation 21.

Submission (Regulation 22)

We carefully considered all representations made under Regulation 20 and, as a result, have proposed modifications to the Draft Local Plan and submission Policies Map set out in a Schedule of Changes. 

The Schedule of Changes, the Draft Local Plan, and its supporting documents, were submitted to the Secretary of State on 30 November 2021 for independent examination. All documents submitted, and the accompanying submission letter, can be viewed in the Local Plan Examination Library.

Examination (Regulations 23, 24 and 25)

The Planning Inspectorate has appointed Inspector M Rivett BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI to hold the independent examination of our Local Plan, assisted by Inspector D J Board BSc (Hons) MA MRTPI. 

The Council has also appointed an independent Programme Officer who will handle the administration of all aspects of the examination process, and all communications between the Inspector, the LPA and other parties involved. Please note her contact details below: 

Address: Mrs Andrea Copsey, Examination Office, PO Box 12607, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 9GN
Telephone: 07842 643988
Email: copseyandrea@gmail.com 

The Inspectors are considering the soundness and legal compliance of the Plan, its compliance with the Duty to Cooperate, and all representations made on the Regulation 19 Draft Local Plan. A dedicated Local Plan Examination Library has been set up where the Draft Local Plan submission documents, hearing statements, schedules of proposed Main Modifications and other documents related to the examination of the Plan can be viewed, and further information about each stage of the examination process can be found.

A Procedure Guide for Local Plan Examinations, aimed at all those involved in the process and concerned with the procedural aspects of examining a Local Plan, has been produced by the Planning Inspectorate.

Hearing sessions took place between 10 May and 4 October 2022. Following the conclusion of the hearing sessions, the Council requested that the Inspectors recommend any modifications to the Plan they consider necessary to ensure the Plan is sound and legally compliant. The text for the Main Modifications was agreed between the Inspectors and the Council and underwent a period of  public consultation between 25 November 2022 and 8 January 2023, alongside additional changes to the submission policies map and an accompanying integrated impact assessment and habitats regulations assessment of the proposed main modifications. The consultation closed on 8 January 2023.

All representations made on the Main Modifications have been sent to the Inspectors in full for their consideration and published on the Main Modifications page of the Local Plan Examination Library alongside the consultation documents. The Inspectors will present their final conclusions and recommendations in a report in due course.

Adoption (Regulation 26)

Adoption of the Local Plan by the Council will follow the outcome of the independent examination, subject to the recommendations of the Planning Inspectors.

Technical documents

The Council produces a number of technical documents related to its planning policy and guidance documents, including the Local Development Scheme (LDS) and the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI).

The Local Development Scheme (PDF) sets out the scope and timetable for producing Bexley's Local Plan. It explains which Local Plan documents are going to be produced with key dates from initial preparation to adoption.

The Statement of Community Involvement (PDF) sets out how the council will involve local residents, businesses and community groups in the preparation of planning documents and the consideration of planning applications. The commitments set out in the SCI ensure that planning processes in Bexley are fair, transparent and inclusive.