Decision details

Examination into the Bracknell Forest Borough Site Allocations Development Plan Document Proposed Modifications.

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Economic Development & Regeneration on behalf of the Executive Member for Planning & Transport

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


To approve a set of proposed modifications to the Site Allocations Development Plan document for consideration by the Inspector and for consultation.


That the Executive Member for Economic Development & Regeneration:


  1. approves the Schedule of Modifications at Annex 1 for submission to the Inspector Examining the Bracknell Forest Site Allocations Development Plan Document;
  2. confirms that the decision is one of urgency and should not be subject to call in by the Overview and Scrutiny Commission;
  3. authorises the Chief Officer, Planning and Transport, in consultation with the Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, to respond to recommendations made by the Inspector on the Schedule of Modifications including agreeing alterations to the Schedule.


The Mayor of Bracknell Forest Council has agreed that the proposed decision is reasonable and is a matter of urgency such that the ‘call in’ procedure shall not apply.

Reasons for the decision:


Following the first two sets of hearings into the SADPD the Inspector has invited the Council to propose a set of changes to the SADPD in order to make it sound.  The most significant of these are known as main modifications.  The Inspector has indicated four main areas requiring changes as follows:


·         The inclusion of a policy on the presumption in favour of sustainable development to reflect the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF);

·         The addition of settlement boundaries for the major urban extensions to give greater certainty on the location of development and better demonstrate compliance with Core Strategy Policy CS9 (to include the insertion of illustrative concept plans for Amen Corner South and Warfield based on those in their respective adopted Supplementary Planning Documents [SPDs]);

·         Changes to the wording of the plan to achieve general conformity with the South East Plan (SEP), particularly its housing requirements; and,

·         The inclusion of a number of additional sites to provide a more robust housing land supply.


The next stage will be for the Council to provide a full schedule of all proposed modifications to the Inspector.  This list includes modifications to address the four main issues listed above and a number of what officers consider to be minor changes which do not affect the document’s overall soundness but would improve its clarity and consistency and provide more up to date references. 


From this schedule the Inspector will determine which are main modifications required to make the document sound.  He may make changes to these main modifications and may add further main modifications of his own.  It is only the main modifications which will be subject to further consultation and potentially further hearing sessions before the Inspector produces his final report.


Alternative options considered:

The Council could seek to continue the process but not provide proposed modifications to the plan.  The Council has already made a request under the new Section 20 (7C) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 for the Inspector to recommend main modifications needed to make the document sound.  The Inspector could therefore produce his own set of changes from scratch and consult on those.  However he has expressed a strong preference for the Council to put forward its own proposed modifications including those in the areas he has identified.  This provides the opportunity for the Council to set out the proposed changes in the manner it considers most appropriate rather than reacting to changes initially drafted by the Inspector.  This is considered preferable in terms of being most likely to result in changes that best support the Council’s position and in order to minimise further delay before we move to the next stages of the process. 


Another alternative would be for the Council to withdraw the Plan.  This would halt the process and would result in the Council having a significant shortfall in housing land supply for a protracted period until a new Local Plan could be adopted.  Withdrawal of the Plan does not remove the obligation to provide suitable land to meet our further needs.  This would leave the Council without a plan-led approach and make it very difficult to resist potentially inappropriate planning applications, including weakening its position at appeals.  In light of the Inspector’s indication that the plan can be made sound with main modifications and the need to have an up to date planning policy framework in place to guide development and support the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy it is recommended that the process is continued.


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Financial Impact: Within existing budget.

Declarations: None

Subject to Urgent Proceedings: NO

Making Representations: In writing to the Director of Environment, Culture and Communities.

Other reasons / organisations consulted

Public Notice


Statutory and non-stautory consultees

Contact: Max Baker, Head of Planning Email: Tel: 01344 351902.

Publication date: 22/01/2013

Date of decision: 22/01/2013

Accompanying Documents: