Plan Adoption with an Early Review – Difference Between May be and Can be

There has been considerable uncertainty regarding whether the Act allows Local Plans to be adopted even though they are unsopund at teh date of adoption – subject to an early review.  One thinks of Dacroum EiP.  Otherwise Local plans could simply delay by three of four years being up to date., manipulating numbers to avoiud allocating a asensitive housing site this side of an electioon

Para 008 of gold guidance

Plans may be found sound conditional upon a review in whole or in part within five years of the date of adoption.

The key here is the difference grammatically between can be and may be.  We know that they can be – see the Dacorum inspectors report for example – where they dont have 10 years supply but do have 5.


The word can is used to denote ability.

I can swim. 
(I have the ability to swim.)

Can he lift 150 kgs? 
(Does he have the ability to lift 150 kgs?)


The word may is used to denote permission.

 You may swim in this river. 
(You are allowed to swim in this river.)

May I have a biscuit? 
(Am I permitted to have a biscuit?)

Anchorman can alloow many things, but what he may not do is give consent to go beyond the powers of the act.  There you see the difference.  We all know from the Reigategate debacle how good he is at forgetting to apply commas.


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