Plan:MK Examination

Plan:MK Examination

The below outlines the examination stages of Plan:MK, carried out between April 2018 and February 2019.

February 2019 – Inspector’s Report

Following the six week consultation between the 31 October and 12 December 2018 on the proposed schedule of modifications, the Inspector found that Plan:MK satisfies the requirements of Section 20(5) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) and meets the criteria for soundness set out in the NPPF, provided the main modifications are included.

The Inspector makes reference to some changes to the Council's Schedule of Main Modifications in his final report.

Plan:MK Schedule of Main Modifications Consultation October 2018

Following the close of the Plan:MK public examination hearings, the Council were invited by the Inspector to submit, for his consideration, a schedule of proposed main modifications to the plan. These modifications are considered to be necessary to make Plan:MK sound.

Following further correspondence with the Inspector to finalise the schedule of modifications, the schedule, at the Inspector's request, was subject to public consultation.

A six-week period of public consultation was held between Wednesday 31 October 2018 and Wednesday 12 December 2018 to provide an opportunity for comments to be made on the schedule of proposed main modifications to the emerging local plan. The consultation covered only the following areas of the plan, and not any other aspect:

  • Main Modifications and policies map;
  • The Sustainability Appraisal Report Addendum.

Following the close of the consultation, all representations received were sent to the Inspector for his consideration and to assist his final conclusions in preparing his report on the examination.


The following documents formed part of the consultation:

a) Plan:MK Main Modifications Consultation Response Form 

b) Plan:MK Main Modifications Consultation Statement of Representations Procedure 

c) Plan:MK Main Modifications Consultation Guidance Note for Respondents 

d) Plan:MK Schedule of Proposed Main Modifications (October 2018) 

e) Plan:MK Appendix I Housing Trajectory 1 April 2018  (MM43 in the Schedule of Main Modifications (2018))

f) Plan:MK Appendix K Indicative Map Identifying Hot Food Takeaway Exclusion Zones  and Briefing Note to be read in conjunction with map (MM45 in the Schedule of Main Modifications (2018))

g) Sustainability Appraisal of Plan:MK SA Report Addendum (October 2018)  and Sustainability Appraisal of Plan:MK SA Report Addendum Non-technical Summary (October 2018)

h) Plan:MK Schedule of Proposed Policies Map Modifications (October 2018) 

The Policies Maps and Inset Maps were updated to incorporate the modifications listed in the above schedule. The updated Policies Maps for the consultation are available to download below:

In addition to the main modifications, the Council also published a Schedule of Proposed Additional Modifications. Additional modifications include corrections to typographical errors and updated factual information, and the schedule of additional modifications was published as part of the consultation for clarity and completeness.

The additional modifications do not affect the soundness of the Plan and, as such, did not form part of the public consultation.

The Inspector

Planning Inspector; David Spencer BA(Hons) DiPTP MRTPI was appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness of Plan:MK (the Plan).

The Inspector’s task was to consider the soundness of the submitted Plan, based on the criteria set out in paragraph 182 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework).  The relevant soundness criteria are whether the Plan is:

1 – positively prepared (based on a strategy that seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities, where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development);

2 - justified (the most appropriate strategy when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence);

3 – effective (the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities); and

4 – consistent with national policy (the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the Framework).

The Inspector take into account the representations submitted upon the Plan at Proposed Submission Stage as far as they relate to soundness considerations.  A number of informal debates took place on the principal matters identified by the Inspector these are termed Hearing Sessions.

Guidance Notes were prepared by the Inspector to help people understand the process. 

Inspector Correspondence

Occasionally during the examination, it was necessary for the Inspector to write to the Council to offer procedural direction or to seek clarification.

Correspondence between the Inspector and the Council was exchanged through the Programme Officer.  For transparency and information purposes all procedural correspondence is published below:

INS1 Plan:MK Examination - Inspector's Initial Observations and Questions 

INS1a MKC Response to Inspector's Preliminary Letter 

INS1b MKC Response to Inspector's Preliminary Letter - Appendix B 

INS1c MKC Response to Inspector's Preliminary Letter - Appendix D 

INS1d MKC Response to Inspector's Preliminary Letter - Appendix E 

INS1-2 Inspector's Letter Following MKC Response to Initial Questions 

INS2 Inspector's letter to MKC regarding HRA 11 May 2018 

INS2a MKC Response to INS2 - Updated HRA 

INS3 Inspector's Letter to MKC - Representation Queries 

INS3a MKC Response to Inspector's Letter INS3 

INS3b Inspector's Letter to MKC in Response to INS3a 

INS4 Inspector's Advice following the Stage 1 Hearings 

INS5 Inspector's Note on SA 

INS6 Inspector's Clarification Note on Points Raised by MKC at the Final Hearing Session on 30 August 2018 

The Programme Officer

The Programme Officer, Ian Kemp, acted as the contact for any person who had an interest in the Examination and as a liaison between the Inspector, Council and Representors.

The Programme Officer is an independent Officer of the Examination and works on behalf of the Inspector to organise and manage the administrative and procedural elements of the Examination process.  All statements were also submitted through him.

Hearing Sessions Venue and Timetable

Hearing Sessions commenced at 10.00am on Tuesday 10th July 2018 within the Harben House Hotel, Tickford Street, Newport Pagnell, MK16 9EY. 

Programme for the Hearing Sessions together with Matters that were discussed are available below.

Stage 1

Matter 1: Legal Compliance Hearing Agenda 

Matter 2: Spatial Strategy Hearing Agenda 

Matter 3: Overall Need and Requirement for Housing (Part 1: Issues 1-4) Hearing Agenda 

Matter 3: Overall Need and Requirement for Housing (Part 2: Issue 5) Hearing Agenda 

Matter 4: Meeting Employment Needs Hearing Agenda 

Matter 5: Strategic Sites (Part 1: Issues 1 & 2) Hearing Agenda 

Matter 5: Strategic Sites (Part 2: Issues 3 & 5) Hearing Agenda 

Matters 5 & 6: Strategic Sites & CMK and Leisure Development Strategy Hearing Agenda 

Matter 7 Infrastructure Hearing Agenda

Stage 2

Matter 3: Settlement Boundaries Hearing Agenda 

Matter 7: Infrastructure & Viability (Part 2: Issue 2) Hearing Agenda 

Matter 8: Development Management Policies Hearing Agenda 

Matter 9: Monitoring Hearing Agenda 

Final Session Hearing Agenda 

Written Statements

The following written statements were received in response to the Inspector's Matters and Questions:

Stage 1

Matter 1 Written Statements - Legal Compliance

Matter 2 Written Statements - Spatial Strategy

Matter 3 Written Statements - Overall Need for Housing

Matter 4 Written Statements - Employment Needs

Matter 5 Written Statements - Strategic Allocations

Matter 6 Written Statements - Retail & Town Centres

Matter 7 Written Statements - Infrastructure & Viability

Stage 2

Matter 3 Written Statements - Delineation of Settlement boundaries

Matter 7 Written Statements - Viability

Matter 8 Written Statements - Policies for Managing Development

Matter 9 Written Statements - Monitoring

Evidence Base Documents

In preparing the Plan the Council both refer to and were informed by a number of documents that together form the 'Evidence Base' for the Examination.  These documents can be accessed through the link below.

Plan:MK Evidence Base Documents

Evidence Base by Topic Spreadsheet 

Action Points

During the Plan:MK Examination, the Inspector drafted a list of Action Points for the Council to respond on. The Council's responses can be accessed through the links below.

Plan:MK Action Points - Stage One

Plan:MK Action Points - Stage Two