The Independent Examination into the soundness of  Bournemouth Borough Council’s Core Strategy has now closed following hearings in March and May. As a result of these and the publication of the NPPF, the Council proposed a few final amendments. The obligatory consultation on these comes to an end today (06 July) with any responses being put before the Inspector Geoff Salter. The Inspector will then finalise his report on the soundness of the plan.

Recently few policy documents have been allowed to reach this stage if they have not already been assessed to be basically sound – so the Inspector’s input is likely to be in points of detail. The main question is how long will it take him to report and therefore how long before the proposed policies are adopted. When I last spoke to the Council’s Policy team on this they (perhaps optimistically) anticipated the Inspector’s report within six weeks of today leaving them able to adopt “late August or early September” – definitely optimistic given the need to understand and incorporate any required amendments and then fit it in with committee cycles. I would suggest Council’s average a couple of months between Inspector’s report and adoption but it depends on the complexity of the response. I would be surprised if the Core Strategy was adopted prior to the start of October but you never know.

Now this is important, if you want to know the implications of the new Core Strategy on your potential development site, contact us NOW! If it is bad, then there is probably just about time to squeeze an application through before (but we cannot guarantee it).