Inspector, Anthony Thickett, opened the proceedings with statements about the way the Examination would be run, and getting EDDC’s agreement to the status of the Documents comprising the Local Plan that he would review. He reminded EDDC representatives, led by Matt Dickens, Richard Cohen and Henry Gordon Lennox, that Councils are not allowed to change a Local Plan that has been submitted. Only the Inspector himself can modify it, if invited by the Council. Matt Dickens replied “Yes,sir, we invite you to do so.” The Inspector then cautioned, “If it turns out not to be a minor change, the Council is at risk.”
Next, he turned to what he called the “thorny issue” of the Duty to Co-operate. He emphasised that this is not a duty to agree with others, but to co-operate with them. “If I find against you, this is the end of the Examination”, he warned the EDDC representatives. There followed a lengthy examination of West Dorset’s Representation that the Local Plan needed to be more specific about co-operation between West Dorset and EDDC in the border areas, particularly at Up Lyme/ Lyme Regis. “Why don’t you address the issue now?”, the Inspector asked EDDC.
The morning session closed with the Inspector stating that East Devon’s Local Plan had too many duplications, and that issues were spread out over several Strategy sections, so it was not clear where to find them. As it stood, the Local Plan document was “not a useful tool”, he said. Immediately after this first session, a hurried consultation took place between all the EDDC attendees…
For further reports, please see http://eastdevonalliance.org