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Inspectors provide update on SWDP Review process

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Inspectors provide update on SWDP Review process

20 February 2024                   

Inspectors scrutinising the South Worcestershire Development Plan Review have provided an update to the three South Worcestershire Councils on their progress.

The Plan was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for independent scrutiny towards the end of last year, a process known as examination.

Dates for public hearings to provide inspectors with the opportunity to ask questions on parts of the plan and the evidence supporting it were expected to be announced this month.

But while inspectors say they have made good progress on preparing for the hearings they have asked for some evidence documents to be updated first. This will avoid delays further in the process and ensure people making representations at the hearings have the latest information available to them.

In a letter to Malvern Hills District, Worcester City and Wychavon District Councils, inspectors raised concerns that some of the evidence was ‘at risk of being overtaken by events’ since work on the plan started and recent changes to planning rules and regulations needed to be included.

Inspectors are also requesting more information about the impact of increased traffic generated by the plan on the surrounding road network. They also want to review the analysis of the Worcestershire Strategic Transport Model.

Worcester City, Malvern Hills District and Wychavon District Councils are now working on a timetable for providing the new and updated evidence.

Cllr Pat Agar, Chair of the Joint Advisory Panel for the SWDP Review, said: “This Plan will shape how our communities develop right up until 2041 so it’s important to us it is based on the most robust evidence possible and properly scrutinised and tested during examination so people can have confidence in it.

“We will now work on producing the new and updated evidence requested as soon as possible so we can proceed to the next stage of the examination process at the earliest possible opportunity.”