Arun District Local Plan – 18 month suspension recommended

Arun District Local PlanA Planning Inspector has advised that Arun’s local plan should be suspended for up to 18 months so that it can re-evaluate how the district can meet Government housebuilding targets.

What is the Arun District Local Plan?

The Arun District Local Plan sets out the vision for housing and employment until 2031 across the district.  Fundamentally, it sets the planning framework and seeks to identify the amount of development proposed and the best location for this across the district.  It is this document which will be used as a guide to assess planning applications.

What happened to the Arun District Local Plan?

Arun’s local plan was submitted for independent examination to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government via the Planning Inspectorate in January of this year.

The local plan objectively assesses the needs (OAN) of an area and a key part of its requirement is to analyse and set out the number of homes to be built each year.

As part of its OAN, Arun presented a case for housing need of only 580 homes a year across the district. But prior to this, a planning appeal had identified that the OAN was in fact 786 homes per year.  The Council had acknowledged and accepted this as part of the appeal, but didn’t then act on this information in their local plan by reassessing their figures for housing need.

This particular issue was discussed at a series of public hearings in June, with critics of the plan arguing that this implied that the local plan was legally unsound.

Next steps:

The Inspector has invited the Council to suspend the local plan for a period of 12-18 months, in order to bring forward modifications and has confirmed their need to work towards a 758 homes per year target.

How does it affect you?

Given Arun’s current predicament, it is likely they will need to once more analyse their figures and source sites for potential strategic allocation.

If you are a land owner within the jurisdiction of Arun District Council and have a site which you think may have potential for development then this represents a prime opportunity to promote your land to be included as a future development site.

If your land is included as an eventual site allocation for a particular use, it increases the likelihood for a successful planning application, as the principle of development will have already been secured.

How do Plainview Planning add value?

Our planning consultants represent a number of land owners across Sussex.

We are experienced in engaging with the Local Plan process, and have previously independently assessed housing figures; promoted relevant sites which meet the requirements of sustainable development as outlined in the NPPF and NPPG; and attended many of the Examination meetings, providing relevant feedback to our clients and presenting recommendations to better Local Plans in the long term.

We regularly promote land as potential strategic development sites and submit planning applications on behalf of landowners and developers. We offer a variety of services and packages; from standard planning consultancy arrangements to land promotion agreements where we would take on some of the initial risk.

If you feel that you may have land suitable for development in this area and would like expert guidance and assistance the please contact us at to explore how we can best assist.