Decision details

Approach to the Core Strategy review and update in the light of the Planning for the Future White Paper

Decision Maker: Cabinet member Infrastructure and transport

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes




To agree to update the Herefordshire Local Plan Core Strategy, following a review of the adopted plan, in accordance with The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended) and paragraph 33 of the National Planning Policy Framework in the light of of the proposals set out in the White Paper: Planning for the Future.




(a)       the review of the Herefordshire Local Plan Core Strategy demonstrates that the Herefordshire Local Plan Core Strategy is required to be updated;

(b)       a detailed project plan for thedevelopment of a new local plan, including resource requirements, taking into account the emerging proposals of the White Paper and other Government advice regarding local plan preparation, be prepared for the approval of the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Transport before the end of December 2020;

(c)      the work on the Hereford Area Plan, Rural Areas Site Allocations Development Plan Document and Bromyard Development Plan Document should be stopped with effect from the date of this report and any relevant elements of evidence to be used as part of the new Local plan;

(d)      progress be continued upon the emerging Minerals and Waste Local Plan;

(e)      work on progressing a Herefordshire Community Infrastructure Levy should be put on hold pending the outcome of the significant proposals for reform of planning obligations in the White Paper; and

(f)        supplementary planning documents in respect of a) delivering higher environmental building standards in Herefordshire consistent with the Council’s goal to be a zero carbon county by 2030 and b) improving ecological protection and pollution reduction, especially with regard to returning our rivers to good ecological status be prepared as soon as practicable and resourced through the local plan reserve in order to enhance the County’s existing planning policy framework.



Alternative options considered:


1.         The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended) (the 2012 Regulations) and paragraph 33 of the National Planning Policy Framework require a review of local plans be undertaken at least every five years in order to determine whether the plan policies and spatial development strategy are in need of updating, and should then be updated as necessary.  The Herefordshire Local Plan Core Strategy was adopted in October 2015 and a review was required to be completed before 15 October 2020.  The need to consider the implications of the recent White Paper: ‘Planning for the Future’ resulted in a delay in finalising this report which has resulted in deadline of the 15 October not being achieved.  Approval of the recommendations attached to this report will resolve this matter. 


2.         Following a review of the Core Strategy there is the option of not updating the plan.  However, this would only be possible if it was clear and demonstrable that the existing plan policies and proposals do not require an update.  The decision not to update the local plan would need to be published together with a clear explanation and justification for the decision.



3.         National advice provides a context against which the current Herefordshire Local Plan Core Strategy can be reviewed to decide whether an update is required, the list below sets out a summary of the review criteria together with a summary of the review conclusions for each of the criteria:

·         the plan policies reflect the latest national planning policy.  A number of recent changes to national planning policy are not reflected within existing policies;

·         local housing need has changed, a sufficient housing land supply exists and delivery targets are being achieved.  A new national method of calculating housing need was introduced in 2019, the Core Strategy housing target was not based on this method. Herefordshire Council cannot currently demonstrate a 5-year housing supply and the Government have indicated that only 74% of the housing need in the County has been delivered in the past three years;

·         key site proposals are delivering in accordance with the local plan and the delivery of the spatial strategy is not at risk.  A number of the strategic proposals are not delivering as anticipated and remain at risk, this has implications for the current spatial strategy;

·         key infrastructure projects are on track.  With the current “pause and review” regarding the transport infrastructure projects, there is doubt whether the Core Strategy proposals will be taken forward;

·         there have been changes to the local environmental or heritage context.  The climate emergency and issues regarding the level of Phosphates in the River Lugg catchment are significant environmental matters which have emerged in the past year;

·         there have been local political changes or a revised corporate strategy which change the Council’s approach.  Changes to the Council administration in May 2019 has led to changes in the policy direction of the Council which have been incorporated within a new corporate strategy.

4.         Therefore, it is clear in the case of the Herefordshire Local Plan Core Strategy, that its policies are considered to be in need of revision and a decision “not to update” could not be justified.


Reason Key: Expenditure and strategic nature / impact on communities;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Contact: Kevin Singleton, Team leader strategic planning Email: Tel: 01432260137.

Publication date: 09/11/2020

Date of decision: 09/11/2020

Effective from: 14/11/2020

Accompanying Documents: