Update on Forum activities – 27th June 2021

Rossendale Draft Local Plan      

It took a lot longer than expected for the Council to complete their responses to the Inspectors’ Schedule of Actions which had been issued after the Examination Hearings in October 2019. They were eventually completed in February of this year with the consultation on them finishing on 22nd March. The Forum has reviewed all the responses in detail and submitted comprehensive representations to the Council on all which are relevant to Edenfield.

Screen captures of Rossendale Borough Council Website

The Council’s responses to the Schedule of Actions are available to view in Examination Library 8 on their website:

Examination Library 8 – Items arising from Action List document EL6.001 | Rossendale Borough Council

The consultation representations on these responses including those made by the Forum are available to view in Examination Library 9:

Examination Library 9 – Responses to the Inspectors’ invitation to comment re Examination Library 8 | Rossendale Borough Council

 On 2nd June the Council published Housing and Employment Land Updates with a two week consultation. These Updates have been produced to take into account changes to the National Planning methodology for the calculation of housing need which is the number of homes to be provided in the Local Plan. Because it is more than two years since the draft Plan was submitted to the Inspectors the Council can no longer rely on the housing need figure in the draft.  The Council’s proposal is to make only a small change to the number of homes to be built from 3,180 to 3,191 but the time period is increased from 15 years to 17 years. Again the Forum reviewed these and submitted detailed representations as part of the consultation process. The Updates and all of the consultation representations are available to view in Examination Library 10:

Examination Library 10 – Consultation on Housing and Employment Land Updates | Rossendale Borough Council

The next stage in this long drawn out process is for the Inspectors’ to issue a post Hearings letter which is expected soon. Following that the Council will publish their proposed Main Modifications to the Local Plan which will go to another consultation.

Edenfield Neighbourhood Plan

We eventually received the Council’s comments on the draft Neighbourhood Plan in January. We have now reviewed these in detail and have responded.

We are now working on updating the draft Plan to take into account these comments and make it ready for the Regulation 14 public consultation.

Annual General Meeting

We have still not been able to hold an AGM since the meeting scheduled for March 2020 was postponed. due to Covid. Hopefully restrictions will be lifted during July so that we will be able to arrange a meeting for later in the summer.

General Meetings are only open to members of the Forum but anyone who lives or works in Edenfield can join – just complete the application form on this website.

Local Plan update

The Inspectors have now issued their post Hearings letter to the Council which is available to view on the RBC website. The letter does not contain any views on the soundness of the Draft Local Plan due to the amount of information that the Inspectors still require from the Council before they can complete their assessment.

The timetable for provision of this information (Schedule of Actions) has also been made available on the RBC website. This indicates that it will take about six months for all the information to be provided.

Some proposed modifications to the Plan were agreed between the Inspectors and the Council during the Hearings and they have now been collated and are also available on the RBC website (List of Main Modifications).

The link for all of these documents is:
https://www.rossendale.gov.uk/downloads/download/11276/examination_library_6_-_further_documents_following_the_close_of_hearings

The Inspectors’ letter mentioned above, requests the Council to produce a revised indicative timetable for production of the Local Plan. Once this is published we will have a better idea of when to expect the Inspectors’ final views on the Plan and the effect it will have on the future of our village. We will give a further update after this timetable is published.

Public Examination Hearings Update

The Public Examination Hearings on the Rossendale Local Plan chaired by the independent Inspectors ended on 10th October after eighteen sessions spread over nine days. Our planning consultants and Forum representatives participated in thirteen of these sessions and Forum representatives observed the others. 

The Hearings concluded with the Inspectors requesting further information from the Council which they require before being able to make a decision on the soundness of the Plan. The Council had until 25th October to submit a timetable for providing the information on the list. The Inspectors will soon be able to issue their own timetable for the continuation of their review of the Local Plan and any other necessary actions such as any further public consultation.

It seems that it will be some time before we have a decision on Edenfield’s Green Belt. We will update the situation as and when we have further information.