Neighbourhood Plan Examination
29 March 2022: The Independent Examiner issued his report on the examination of the Penrith Neighbourhood Plan. The report concludes that the Penrith Neighbourhood Plan should proceed to referendum, subject to amendments being made in line with the Examiner's recommended modifications. This is to ensure the Plan meets the basic conditions.
Eden District Council must consider each of the Examiner’s recommendations, and the reasons for them, and decide what action to take in response to each. We must also come to our own view about whether the draft plan meets the basic conditions. If we are satisfied that the draft plan meets the basic conditions, and conforms to other requirements set out in legislation, a referendum will be arranged.
1 March 2022: In response to the public consultation the Council received 573 responses to the Citizen space survey. We also received 55 handwritten or emailed responses which we copied word for word. All the redacted responses have had personal details removed.
The examiner has received an unredacted spreadsheet. We also received a late representation and further analysis to a previous response. We gave the examiner this information to enable his full consideration of the representations made.
19 January 2022: Eden District Council’s legal team has advised that it concurs with the Examiner’s explanation of the powers available to him, to propose a new policy for the Neighbourhood Plan, where this relates directly to compliance with the basic conditions that Neighbourhood Plans are examined against.
The Legal Team concludes that, “there is no specific definition of “modification” which would otherwise limit how far the inspector goes with regards to their recommendations. To that extent we concur with the Examiner in this respect that there is no specified limitation regarding the deletion and replacement with a new form of the policy relating to Beacon Hill. The Council would agree that the Inspector has the power to recommend the proposed modifications under TCPA 1990 Schedule 4b (10)”.
13 January 2022: In response to a query by Penrith Town Council, relating to the powers under which the Examiner is able to introduce a new policy into the Neighbourhood Plan (regarding Beacon Hill), the Examiner has issued the note below. We are in the process of seeking an opinion on this matter from our own legal team.
7 January 2022: The examination of the Penrith Neighbourhood Development Plan is now almost completed. However, in advance of the independent Examiner issuing his report, he has requested that an additional period of public consultation take place in respect of a new policy he is proposing for Beacon Hill.
For the reasons set out in the Examiner’s Consultation Note, below, he has decided there should be a new bespoke policy for the woodland area which the local community value. As this is a new policy, and not a modification of the proposed policy concerning Beacon Hill, it has not yet been the subject of public consultation, either at Regulation 14 or Regulation 16 stage. The Examiner is therefore inviting representations on the bespoke policy and has asked Eden District Council to conduct a public consultation, on the wording of this policy, on his behalf.
Everyone (including residents, landowners and businesses) had four weeks from Friday 7 January to 11.59pm on Friday 4 February 2022 to make representations on the proposed policy for Beacon Hill being put forward by the Examiner. We will pass any representations on to the Examiner for his consideration, as part of the examination process, and will makes these available on our website. Copies of the Examiner’s Consultation Note, incorporating the new, proposed policy for Beacon Hill, is available to view below.
Alternatively, hard copies of the documentation are available:
- at Eden District Council, Town Hall, Corney Square between 9am and 3pm Monday to Friday
- at Penrith library
- by phoning Eden District Council’s Contact Centre on 01768 817817 and requesting a hard copy be posted to you.
14 December: The Examiner issued the Note ‘Consultation on Proposed Policy on Beacon Hill’, within which he proposes a new, bespoke policy in respect of Beacon Hill (not a modification of a proposed policy). As this policy has not previously been the subject of a public consultation, either at Regulation 14 or Regulation 16 stage, the Examiner has asked that the policy be subject to a four-week public consultation, commencing after the Christmas holiday period. The Council is making arrangements to commence the consultation in early January 2022.
18 October: A response from both Penrith Town Council and Lowther Estate Trust, to the Examiner's Further Post-Hearing Meeting Note of 10 September, was submitted to the Examiner for his consideration:
- Letter from Penrith Town Council (PDF: 496Kb / 4 pages)
- Letter from Lowther Estate Trust (PDF: 562Kb / 6 pages)
8 October: Responses from Keep Penrith Special and Friends of Penrith Beacon, to the Examiner’s Post-Hearing Meeting Note of 10 September, were submitted to the Examiner for his consideration.
- Letter from Keep Penrith Special (PDF: 219 Kb/ 5 pages).
- Letter from Friends of Penrith Beacon (PDF: 290 Kb/ 3 pages).
10 September: The Examiner issued a further Post-Hearing Meeting Note. Within this, the Examiner: set out a set of specific questions for Penrith Town Council and Lowther Estate Trust; provided an opportunity for Friends of The Beacon and Keep Penrith Special to comment on the two alternative policies put forward in respect of Beacon Hill by Penrith Town Council and the landowners; and invited Regulation 16 parties to comment on whether the new (July 2021) version of the National Planning Policy Framework has implications for the examination of the Penrith Neighbourhood Plan.
31 August: A response from Penrith Town Council to the Examiner’s Post-Hearing Meeting Note was submitted to the Examiner for his consideration. This incorporated a suggested alternative policy in respect of Beacon Hill in addition to other items.
9 August: Representatives for Lowther Estate Trust (Stansgate Planning) submitted a letter to the Examiner regarding Beacon Hill (PDF: 996Kb / 33 pages)
8 June: The Examiner indicated that he had received correspondence from local groups, Friends of the Beacon and Keep Penrith Special. Their correspondence and the Examiner's response are available below:
25 May: Eden District Council provided the Examiner with its Habitats Regulations Assessment (Screening) of the Penrith Neighbourhood Plan. Natural England were consulted on the findings of the Assessment and their response is attached at Appendix 1.
The Submission is available below:
10 February: The Examiner issued a Post-Hearing Meeting Note (PDF: 338Kb / 5 pages).
9 February: The Independent Examiner held a virtual Public Hearing in order to hear oral evidence on certain matters put forward in the Penrith Neighbourhood Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan Hearing took place on Microsoft Teams and involved representatives from, and acting on behalf of, Penrith Town Council, Eden District Council and Lowther Estate Trust. The matters addressed focused on those raised in the Examiner’s Initial Observations (see update below of 13 January 2021).
View the morning Hearing session, starting at 9am using Microsoft Teams.
4 February: The Examiner issued an agenda for the Hearing taking place on 9 February 2021 (PDF: 106Kb / 1 page).
2 February 2021: Penrith Town Council provided a written response in relation to representations received during the Regulation 16 public consultation.
The submission is available below:
26 January 2021: In relation to the Examiner's Initial Observations, we submitted a written response providing clarification on: the Local Plan's strategic policies; our opinion on the SEA and HRA Screening undertaken by Kirkwells, on behalf of Penrith Town Council; and the Council's planning application validation list.
Our submission is available below:
13 January 2021: The Examiner wrote to us and Penrith Town Council on 8 January 2021 with his initial comments on the Penrith Neighbourhood Plan. These included a request that clarity be provided on a small number of key matters and indicated that a Hearing would be necessary, involving the following parties: Eden District Council; Penrith Town Council; and a representative(s) for Lowther Estate Trust. A date for the Hearing is currently being arranged.
The letter from the Examiner is available below:
Submission of Plan Proposal to Examination (Regulation 17)
In accordance with Regulation 17 of The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012, the submitted plan, supporting documents, and all representations received during the 6-week consultation period were sent to an Independent Examiner (Mr John Slater BA (Hons) DMS MRTPI). The Examiner considers whether the plan meets certain basic conditions, satisfies legal requirements, and will identify an appropriate area for a referendum.
Previous consultation on Submission Draft Neighbourhood Plan (Regulation 16)
The Submission Draft Penrith Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to Eden District Council for examination in August 2020.
As the local planning authority, Eden District Council was required to consult on the plan before the examination takes place. Everyone (including residents, landowners and businesses) had six weeks from Wednesday 23 September to Wednesday 4 November 2020 to make representations on the plan with regard to the content and how it had been prepared.
The consultation documents comprised:
Whilst not part of the formal submission to Eden District Council, Penrith Town Council also produced a summary document of the Neighbourhood Plan (PDF: 597Kb / 32 pages) - July 2020, incorporating all the policies.
All representations submitted in response to the consultation will be considered by the appointed independent examiner, Mr John Slater BA (Hons) DMS MRTPI.
At the examination, the examiner will provide a review of the plan and make recommendations in accordance with the 2011 Localism Act and related regulations. In particular, the examiner has to consider whether the plan meets certain basic conditions, satisfies legal requirements, and identifies an appropriate area for a referendum.
The basic conditions set out in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which are set out in the legislation, are intended to ensure that neighbourhood plans are compatible with their wider context. The plan must:
- have regard to national planning policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State;
- contribute to achieving sustainable development;
- be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan for the area (the Eden Local Plan); and,
- be compatible with EU obligations and human rights requirements.
If the neighbourhood plan receives a favourable examination report, and is subsequently supported by a local referendum, it will become part of the Council’s development plan. Its policies will be used to make decisions on relevant planning applications in Penrith alongside other appropriate policies within the remainder of the development plan.
Previous consultation on Draft Neighbourhood Plan (Regulation 14)
Penrith Neighbourhood Plan 2019 to 2032 was open for public consultation (under Regulation 14 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012) for 8 weeks from 4 February 2019. This consultation closed on the 31 March 2020.
Contact Penrith Town Council offices to view paper copies of the plan.
Designation of Penrith Neighbourhood Area
The first stage in developing a Neighbourhood Plan or Neighbourhood Development Order is to designate the 'Neighbourhood Area’, which it will cover. Penrith Town Council has submitted a Neighbourhood Area application. After a six-week consultation period, which ended on Monday 4 July 2016, Eden District Council’s Executive approved the application on Tuesday 6 September 2016.
View the decision notice for Penrith Neighbourhood Area.