Stuart Holland and RTPI Planning Convention as reported by Jamie Crpenter in Planning
Holland said that Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) lawyers had taken a “very firm view” that the new duty “applies to the plan-making stage”. “The DCLG lawyers’ view is that the plan preparation stops when you submit it to us,” he said.
Holland said that this meant “if there is a problem with the duty to cooperate, we can’t help you resolve it”. He said: “The approach that we take to problems in local plan work is that, if possible, we give local authorities every opportunity to sort out problems that we identify. We are prepared to adjourn an examination. It’s in no-one’s interest to find plans unsound”.
But Holland added: “With the duty to cooperate, we don’t have that ability. If there is a problem we cannot say to you ‘go away and sort out this problem’.
“So 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”.