ModGov Infozone - Click to go to Tamworth Borough Council website

Agenda item

Local Plan Progression Options

(Report of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning)


The Chair welcomed the Portfolio holder for Housing and Planning, Councillor S Smith, the Planning Policy and Delivery Team Leader, Richard Powell and the Planning Policy and Delivery Officer Laura Massey. The Portfolio Holder introduced the report to seek Committee endorsement of the recommendations to be made to Cabinet for approval for the revised approach to the delivery of a new local plan for Tamworth resulting from Government’s proposed changes to the planning system, and for the publication of associated documents and highlighted the following before handing over to the Officers –


Ø  The new system referred to in the report relates to the new rules in place for the local plan which is part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

Ø  The current local plan was adopted in 2016 and covers the period up to March 2031.

Ø  In  2018  the Government introduced legislation which requires all local plans to be reviewed every 5 years.

Ø  In 2020 Tamworth Borough Council took a review of their local plan and determined that a new local plan was required.

Ø  The current timelines stands as - the ‘issues and options’ consultation was undertaken about a year ago. The ‘preferred options’ consultation would be due at the beginning of this year which will be discussed as part of the options.

Ø  The submission date for the draft local plan is currently at the end of 2025.

Ø  The current transitional arrangements however require the submission to be by June 2025 with the plan being adopted by the end of December of 2026 so our current timeline, means our plan would be submitted after the submission deadline.


The Planning Policy Team Leader summarised the five option that were Identified in the plan noting that option 4, to update the existing plan now and do a new plan under the new system later, was the preferred option of the local Plan Working Group.

Upon further investigation Officers believed that this would require a similar amount of work as creating a new plan, and the updated plan would only have approximately six years left (National Policy states that new local plans should have at least 15 years to run at the point of adoption) and therefore that this was not the best option.

Option 5 was now considered the best option. This option was to get a new plan in place under the current arrangements by condensing the timetable by omitting a non-statutory stage of the process to submit the plan by the June 2025 deadline. Legal advice had been sought and this is not unlawful, however there was a small risk of challenge from the plan not being ‘positively prepared’ but that this unlikely. The Planning Inspectorate also advised that omitting the step would not be an issue as long as the Council is clear that they are not including this stage. It was highlighted that there was a possibility of the Government pushing back deadlines which may give them time for further consultation.


The Committee made the following comments/observations and asked the following questions:


1.     What does the consultation period that is being omitted look like?

The Officer confirmed that there are two statutory stages of consultation, the first stages is the ‘issues and options’ stage and outlines what the plan might include. The second stage is sharing of the draft plan. The stage which is being omitted is the ‘preferred options’ stage, where the Council’s preferred approach is put out for consultation for 6 weeks for comments. However, due to limited available options, the Councils plan was already quite focussed at the ‘issues and options’ stage.

2.     Are there any guidelines from the Government on expected timescales?

It was confirmed that they are expecting more information over the course of the year but no specific dates.

3.     Clarification over the resources table on Page 28 and noting that the reports states that the team has limited capacity, whether there was any plan in place if there were any resource issues?

Officers confirmed that this is the percentage of Officers time that is stated in the report is the time that it is expected that they would be working on the project. It is not 100% due to other commitments outside of the project. The limited resources referred to permanent staff and there is currently also a temporary member of staff in place until June 2025. It was also noted that by removing the preferred options part of the process this would help with workloads. There would also be consultants used to support the project where required.

4.     Whether the cost of consultants had been worked out?

The Officer highlighted that the report showed an estimate cost of approximately £375,000 for the project and that there £215,759 in reserve from previous years underspend, but that a policy change may be required for 2025/2026 to cover this.

5.     Assuming Cabinet approval is given when would work start?

Officers confirmed that they were already working on evidence gathering for the project.




that Committee endorsed the two following recommendations to Cabinet to :




Approve the revised approach to the development of the new local plan for Tamworth; and




Approve the publication of the updated Local Development Scheme and Statement of Community Involvement.




(Moved by Councillor L Smith and seconded by Councillor B Clarke)




Supporting documents: