Agenda item

New Local Plan Update

To receive the report on the New Local Plan Update.

RECOMMENDED that Overview and Scrutiny Committee:

Notes the progress of the Council’s new Local Plan.


Members received an update on the New Local Plan from the Portfolio Holder for Place, Planning and Regulatory Services, Councillor Michalowski.

Several advance questions had been submitted regarding the New Local Plan Update. The advance questions and responses can be viewed here:

Document Advance Questions and Answers OS 12 October 2023 | Reigate and Banstead Borough Council (

The report sets out the current position and the proposed way forward, following the new style of local plan creation. Some risks have been identified and the update provides a reasonable and pragmatic approach.

Members made observations and asked questions on the following areas:

Habitats Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal Commissions

It was confirmed that the Government would be introducing Environmental Outcomes reports, which would be a significant shift from current requirements. Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRAs) and Sustainability Assessments would not form part of the new local plan; therefore it would pose a risk to undertake this work at the current time. Members were invited to contact officers directly for further discussion.

Local Plan development timeframe

It was confirmed that the current style of local plan could not be submitted after summer 2025; the Council would not have the new Local Plan finalised in time to meet this deadline, therefore it would need to work towards the new style of local plan. The Government framework would need to be adhered to, meaning that the plan could not be delivered any earlier than its newly proposed target date. The Chair noted that it was a year since work on the Local Plan had started, and disappointingly, although for understandable reasons, the target date had slipped by nine months to a year.

Resident Engagement

It was confirmed that a campaign to involve residents in the new Local Plan would be run in the Borough News in November 2023. Following this, workshops and presentations would be planned, formal consultation would take place, and the Local Plan Advisory Group (LPAG) would commence its work early in 2024. The timetable included in the report was indicative and would include time for analysis of resident engagement.

Members were concerned that the first formal consultation for the new Local Plan would be in the summer holiday period and that this would affect resident engagement. It was explained that the consultation would be for an 8-week period, which exceeded the normal consultation period of 6 weeks, and had been planned to align with the committee cycle and Member engagement.

Risks of interim period between Local Plans

It was confirmed that the current Local Plan would end in 2027, when it would then become out of date with the National Planning Policy Framework. However, it would still carry weight with regards to decision-making. A balance would need to be struck between the existing Local Plan, national policies, and the emerging Local Plan, by the decision-maker.

Differences between the old-style and new-style Local Plans

It was confirmed that the new-style local plans, although similar to the old-style local plans, would focus on unique visions for the authority’s own locality.

The Council’s response to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which has been submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) would be shared with Committee Members following the meeting.

The borough’s 5 year housing supply

It was confirmed that the Council’s intention was to retain the 460 per year figure, identified in the current Local Plan, in its housing monitor.

Committee Members noted that the new Local Plan required political leadership to keep it to schedule.

RESOLVED that Overview and Scrutiny Committee:

i)            Noted the progress of the Council’s new Local Plan.

Supporting documents: