The Duty to Cooperate in Kent – Not a Duty to Agree to Disagree

A duty to cooperate meeting in Kent

Sevenoaks

Excuse me my neighbouring planning authority we have lots of green belt and AONB, can you take some of my unmet housing need?

No we have lots of green belt and/or AONB, by the way can you take some of our unmet housing need?

No

It goes on like this all around the table

The Duty to Cooperate is not a duty to agree to disagree.  The notes presented by Sevenoaks simply shows the lack of a positive process to cooperate to meeti ng housing need, both under the old NPPF (under which the plan was examined) and the new, both in terms of legal process and the DTC soundness test.  The inspector was 100% right.

Remember the legal test ‘to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to maximise the effectiveness of Local and Marine Plan preparation in the context of strategic cross boundary matters.”

Kent needs to get its act together.  The focussing of major growth areas on the rail line to Ashford is a good strategy, but only if you upgrade the rail line.