Request for Extension

Request for Extension

Edith Weston Parish Council requested an extension fo the consultation on SGB related to the local plan. Sadly this was turned down.

Our Request 22nd August 2018

Edith Weston Parish Council request an extension to the time allocation for consultation on the following documents, which are integral to the Local Plan:

  • Focussed changes to the Local Plan resulting from the development potential of St George's Barracks
  • Additional sites put forward for development since the Consultation Draft Local Plan 2017

The consultation period set for the current plan requires careful review. It is currently:

  • set in a holiday period which impacts on a vast majority of the public
  • unmanageable for a high percentage of Rutland consultees
  • unreasonable when compared to previous consultation periods
  • unrealistic for many residents
  • engineered to accommodate a pre-set time scale

The first priority for the consultation period should be to enable all interested parties to review the areas identified for consultation. These are specifically identified as:

  • relevant strategic objectives for the Local Plan
  • the spatial strategy and settlement hierarchy for the Local Plan
  • housing and employment requirements for the Local Plan
  • minerals and waste policies and proposals for the Local Plan
  • consideration of a specific policy for potential development at St George's

A six week period does not provide adequate time to prepare responses which focus on each of these points meaningfully. Rutland County Council have the responsibility to ensure consultees have sufficient time and sufficient resources to respond; therefore it is imperative that the period of time allocated is extended.

There are two clear precedents which support this request; the July 2017 consultation period was held over an 8 week period and the November 2015 consultation period was allocated a 9 weeks consultation period. The current period has been set for 6 weeks. Clear information is required to justify the lessening of timing allocated to this public consultation on specific aspects of Rutland's latest draft Local Plan. More realistically the time period should be extended to match previous occasions.

Response from RCC - Helen Briggs 24th August

Thank you for your letter (sent by email) dated 22nd August requesting an extension to the consultation period for the current consultation regarding focussed changes to the Local Plan.

You will be aware that this additional consultation is non-statutory and that the Council has chosen to undertake this to provide an extra opportunity for public views to be made on specific issues with respect to the preparation of the Local Plan.

It also follows on from the recent extensive consultation undertaken on the initial draft masterplan for the St. Georges site. We believe that the six week period does provide adequate time to undertake an effective consultation period and enable the public to respond meaningfully to the consultation. This length of period of time is regarded within the Local Plan Regulations as an acceptable period for the statutory consultation aspects of the production of Local Plans.

The two consultations are very focussed in their nature and content, and have been tailored to address specific issues of relevance for the Local Plan. For example, the specific consultation on St Georges is set out in a document which is 36 pages long, whereas the Consultative Draft Local Plan issued in 2017 extended to some 209 pages.

Edith Weston Parish Council, along with a range of stakeholders, were given advance notice of the intended consultation at the St Georges advisory group meeting held on 23rd July. An email from the Leader of the Council was sent to all St. Georges stakeholders including Edith Weston Parish Council on 20th July, explaining the process well ahead of the consultation start date. The draft consultation documents were in the public domain from 24th July as part of the agenda papers for the Cabinet meeting held on 31st July.

Taking these matters into account then it is our view that the Council has acted responsibly to ensure consultees have sufficient time to respond effectively to the focussed consultations, and consequently there is no need to extend the period of consultation.

As you have indicated that your letter was sent to all Parish Councils I will ensure this reply is also provided to them and that both your letter and the response are placed on the St George's web site.

Yours sincerely

Helen Briggs
Chief Executive

Posted: Sun, 26 Aug 2018 19:10 by Norman Milne

Tags: St George's Project, RCC Communications