Joint Local Plan Examination homepage

Examination latest news

Important new information:

  • 28 April 2022 - letter from inspectors to Councils regarding examination schedule
  • 14 February 2022 - examination update
  • 10 December 2021 - letter from Councils to inspectors
  • 09 December 2021 - letter from inspectors regarding Joint Local Plan Examination
  • 23 November 2021 - meeting date set regarding proposed work programme with inspectors (16 December)
  • 22 November 2021 - letter to inspectors published for proposed work programme
  • 20 October 2021 - postponement of Matter 9 and 10 hearing sessions
  • 18 October 2021 - sustainability appraisal legal advice note published
  • 6 October 2021 - further Matter 2 & 4 statements published
  • 22 September 2021 - examination hearing sessions recommence
  • 15 September 2021 - revised hearings programme published
  • 5 August 2021 - examination hearings update
  • 30 July 2021 - revised hearing programme published
  • 19 July 2021 - preliminary Matter 4 session will be held virtually and available to view from 9.30am on Wednesday 21 July
  • 8 July 2021 - meeting to be held virtually on 21/07/21 between the Councils and the inspectors on matters relating to Matter 4 (Settlement Hierarchy, Spatial Distribution of Housing and the Housing Site Selection Process)
  • 25 June 2021 - hearing sessions to reconvene in September
  • 22 June 2021 - Matter 3 hearing session postponed 
  • 28 May 2021 - change of venue and revised hearings programme published
  • 12 May 2021 - guidance notes, the inspectors’ matters and questions, the hearings programme published
  • 10 May 2021 - hearing notice published
  • 6 April 2021 – inspectors appointed

Examination update

The Councils are currently working with our consultants and project partners to scope and progress the outstanding matters raised by the inspectors during the examination so far, and the necessary main modifications. The Inspectors have written to the Councils on 28 April 2022 with the latest update (Document G11) on the anticipated Examination schedule.

Following the exploratory meeting with the inspectors on Thursday 16 December 2021, it is proposed to progress the current Joint Local Plan (JLP) as a 'Part 1' local plan. This will be followed by the preparation and adoption of a 'Part 2' local plan as soon as possible.

The Local Development Scheme is to be updated to reflect this, and this will provide details of what each plan will cover, and the timetable for their production. In the meantime, the letter from the inspectors (document G09) gives details on the areas each plan will be likely to include.

Letter from inspectors regarding Joint Local Plan Examination

The inspectors have sent a letter to the Councils, dated 9 December 2021, in response to a letter dated 18 November 2021 (document G08). The letter from the inspectors is in regards to the proposed work programme.

The new letter is available to view in our Core Document Library (as document G09). The Councils have acknowledged and agreed in principle (document G10) to the proposals in the Inspectors' letter. The approach, as set out in the letter, will be discussed further at a virtual meeting between the Councils and the inspectors, on 16 December 2021 at 10am. The virtual meeting will be livestreamed on the Council's YouTube Channel.

Date for exploratory meeting set

A meeting between the Council and inspectors to discuss the proposed work programme content (document G08) is being held on Thursday 16 December at 10am. This meeting will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel and a recording will be available to view afterwards.

Letter to inspectors published for proposed work programme

The Council has produced and provided a letter to the inspectors regarding the proposed work programme for the Joint Local Plan (JLP). This is available to view on our Core Document Library (as document G08). 

Postponement of Matter 9 and 10 Hearing Sessions

Following the Matter 4 sessions, the Councils have proposed to undertake further work regarding the plan’s spatial distribution and the housing site selection process.

As a result, the Matter 9 and 10 sessions will not proceed as scheduled (they were originally due to start on Monday 1 November 2021). The inspectors and Councils apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

Sustainability appraisal legal advice note

The Councils have added the new document to the Core Document Library as document H35 (page 19).

Matter 2 and Matter 4 further statements

Further documents for Matter 2 – Gypsy and Traveller, and Travelling Showpeople Provision and Boat Dwellers and Matter 4 - Settlement Hierarchy, Spatial Distribution of Housing and Housing Site Selection Process have been published and is available to view on our Core Document Library.

The most recent documents that have been added to the Core Document Library in section I for both Matter 2 and Matter 4.

Examination hearings

The virtual hearing sessions commence again on Wednesday 22 September 2021 at 09.30am and are to be live streamed through the Council’s dedicated YouTube channel.

Further documents from the Councils have been added to the Core Document Library as below.

  • H30 – Council review of SP03, SP04 & LP01
  • H31 – Spatial Distribution Statement
  • H32 – BMSDC Joint SHELAA Report – RAG Addendum Sept 2021

Regarding the above documents, the Inspectors are inviting written comments (as brief as possible and no more than 3,000 words) from participants at the Matters 4, 9 or 10 hearing sessions to be submitted to the Programme Officer by 12pm (midday) on Friday 1 October 2021.

In addition, the Councils have also added Document G07 to the Core Document Library regarding Matter 2 – Gypsy and Traveller, and Travelling Showpeople Provision and Boat Dwellers. The Inspectors are also inviting written comments on Document G07 (as brief as possible and no more than 3,000 words) from participants at the Matters 2 hearing session to be submitted to the Programme Officer by 12pm (midday) on Friday 1 October 2021.

programme for the resumed hearings has been published. 

A preliminary Matter 4 hearing session, just involving the Councils, was held virtually on Wednesday 21st July 2021 at 9.30am. Matter 4 considers the Settlement Hierarchy, Spatial Distribution of Housing and the Housing Site Selection Process. This hearing session is available to view on our YouTube Channel

The session was conducted by the inspectors and was streamed online. A recording will be kept on this website, until the main Matter 4 hearing session takes place, so that people can view it.

Further key information regarding the examination is now available to access via the links below:

Read the examination guidance notes
Read the inspectors' matters and questions
Read the draft hearing programme

Data for the examination will be processed in accordance with the Council's privacy policies and the Planning Inspectorate's privacy policies.

Appointed inspectors

The examination has now started. Inspectors Malcolm Rivett BA(Hons) MSc MRTPI and Alison Partington BA(Hons) MA MRTPI have been appointed to hold an independent examination of the Babergh District Council and Mid Suffolk District Council JLP.

The role of the appointed inspectors is to carry out an independent assessment of the overall soundness of the JLP. They will also assess whether it satisfies the statutory requirements for its preparation.

Programme officer

Annette Feeney has been appointed as the Programme Officer for the Babergh and Mid Suffolk JLP Examination. She will deal with all procedural, administrative and programming matters.

The programme officer is independent from the Councils and reports directly to the planning inspectors conducting the Babergh & Mid Suffolk JLP examination.

All correspondence or queries relating to the Babergh and Mid Suffolk JLP Examination should be directed to the programme officer on the contact details below:

Email the Programme Officer

Tel: 07775771026

Postal Address: Annette Feeney, Programme Officer c/o Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, Endeavour House, Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX

Core Document Library

The Core Document Library contains all documents which are part of the examination process - including the JLP, the evidence and correspondence.

You can access the library, which will be kept up to date throughout, online:

Core Document Library