Decision details

Bracknell Forest Local Plan (Submission version) – consultation on Main Modifications

Decision Maker: Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek approval to consult on Main Modifications to the Bracknell Forest Local Plan (Submission version) and associated documents for a statutory period of at least six weeks.




i.       the principle of making Proposed Main Modifications (outlined in Appendix A) to the Bracknell Forest Local Plan (Pre Submission version), and associated changes to the Policies Map be agreed.


ii.     the Executive Director: Place Planning and Regeneration, in consultation

with the Executive Member for Planning and Transport, agree the draft wording of the Proposed Main Modifications and any consequential changes together with associated changes to the Policies Map and supporting

documents, prior to being submitted to the Inspectors for final agreement.


iii.    the Executive Director: Place Planning and Regeneration, in consultation

with the Executive Member for Planning and Transport, agree the wording of the schedule of Minor Modifications.


iv.    consultation on the Proposed Main Modifications to the Bracknell Forest Local Plan (Pre Submission version), consequential changes, amended Policies Map and supporting documents be agreed for a period of at least six weeks over the Summer of 2023.

Reasons for the decision:

i.       As part of the examination process, the Inspectors must judge whether the BFLP is ‘sound’ as set out in paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2021 (positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy). The Inspectors’ Post Hearings letter received on 19th January 2023 makes it clear that Main Modifications are required in order to make the the BFLP sound and ultimately ensure that the Council has an up to date and robust planning framework to guide development which reflects current national policy and guidance.


ii.     Any Proposed Main Modifications must be subject to public consultation before the Inspectors can make recommendations on them. Whilst the the Policies Map is not a development plan document, it illustrates geographically the application of policies in the plan. As certain Proposed Main Modifications have geographical consequences, it will be necessary to show them on the Policies Map. To ensure fairness, such proposed changes need to be subject to consultation alongside the Proposed Main Modifications. Associated SA/SEA and HRA documents must also be subject to consultation. A Schedule of Minor Modifications will also be published for information.

Alternative options considered:

i.       The alternative options are to:

(i) reject some or all of the identified Proposed Main Modifications to the Plan; or

(ii) suggest different or more wide-ranging modifications, beyond those required for soundness.


ii.     The result of option (i) would almost certainly be that the Inspectors would find the Plan unsound and recommend non-adoption of the Plan. In practice, the Council would probably be asked to consider withdrawing the Plan before any such recommendation was made. This would mean reliance on policies in existing documents that are out of date, making it difficult to resist inappropriate development, and potentially resulting in planning by appeal.


iii.    Option (ii) would carry the significant risk of the Inspectors needing to re-open the hearings. As well as the resource and time implications, it is not possible to guarantee that different proposed main modifications would result in a sound plan. This could result in further delays to the process, leaving the Council without up to date policies for an extended period.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Financial Impact: The consultation forms part of the examination process which is being funded from the Development Plan budget.

Declarations: None

Subject to Urgent Proceedings: No

Making Representations: In writing to the Director of Place, Planning & Regeneration

Other reasons / organisations consulted

The Procedure Guide for Local Plan Examinations (February 2022) issued by the Planning Inspectorate makes it clear that the nature and duration of the consultation should reflect that of the consultation held at the Regulation 19 stage. This means that it should last at least six weeks and involve a range of methods of communication. These will include setting up an online consultation event (including notification to those on the local plan database), updating information on the Council’s website, providing hard copies of information at locations around the Borough (specific libraries, parish/town council offices and Time Square) and putting information on the Council’s social media pages.


• Neighbouring County, District and Borough Councils.
• Specific consultees (such as ‘duty to co-operate’ bodies and specific consultees, including Environment Agency, Natural England, Historic England and Homes England).
• General consultees (including residents, landowners and bodies which represent the interests of different groups).

Contact: Andrew Hunter, Executive Director: Place, Planning & Regeneration Email: Tel: 01344 351907.

Report author: Andrew Hunter

Publication date: 21/03/2023

Date of decision: 21/03/2023

Decided at meeting: 21/03/2023 - Executive

Effective from: 29/03/2023

Accompanying Documents: