The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has warned councils that they must demonstrate that they have cooperated with their neighbours to resolve cross border issues before they submit their Core Strategies [called the City Plan in Brighton & Hove]. This will affect all councils including Brighton & Hove.
The Localism Bill imposes a duty to cooperate requiring councils to consult and engage with their neighbours in the preparation of Core Strategies and the Planning Inspectorate [PINS] has warned that this "has big implications ".
The Department for Communities and Local Government [DCLG] has taken a "very firm view" that the new duty "applies to the plan-making stage".
Keith Holland of PINS said, " . . . please, take the duty to cooperate incredibly seriously and sort it out before you submit your plans to us, because we cannot help you sort that out afterwards".
This is particularly pertinent to local authorities like Brighton & Hove that are in the process of consulting on their Core Strategies [the City Plan]. For instance Brighton & Hove has identified a projected demand for up to 19,000 new homes over the next 20 years but can only identify space for about 11,400. It must cooperate with its neighbours to identify solutions but many of them are also struggling to deliver their own housing numbers meaning that the consultation phase of the City Plan [up to 20th July] is especially important.
Recognising the need to work with neighbouring towns and districts on housing and a number of other issues the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership already has representation from Lewes and Shoreham and has just invited Burgess Hill Town Council to join.
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