Swale Borough Council’s Local Development Framework Panel – which is where strategic planning decisions are made – will be asked on 19 May to approve the Independent Examiner’s recommendations so that the plan can go to referendum. The planning officers’ report to the panel says:
‘Unless Swale BC amends the draft Plan in order to reflect the Examiner’s recommendations, the Plan would not meet the ‘basic conditions’ and the legal requirements and could not proceed to referendum.
‘Swale BC, as the local planning authority, must now consider whether to accept the Examiner’s recommendations. Officers are content with the modifications suggested, and agree with the Examiner that they make the Neighbourhood Plan acceptable in terms of meeting the basic conditions and the statutory requirements. As set out earlier, if Swale BC do not accept these modifications, the Plan cannot proceed to referendum.’
If the panel accepts the recommendations, the referendum would be held in September/October (on the grounds that it should not clash with the EU referendum, and after that it would run into school holidays, which would be best avoided).
The planning officers’ report can be seen here, starting on page 4.