OPDC - Old Oak and Park Royal

Local Plan Examination Process

The Proposed Submission Local Plan must be considered by a formal Independent Examination. This is led by an independent Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The independent examination is the final stage in the Local Plan process before it can be adopted as part of the legally binding development plan for the area.

Planning Inspector

The Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State, has appointed Paul Clark MA MRTPI MCMI as the Planning Inspector to conduct the Independent Examination of OPDC’s Local Plan.

Programme Officer

OPDC has appointed Charlotte Glancy, of Banks Solutions to act as the Programme Officer for the OPDC Local Plan Independent Examination.

The Programme Officer deals with procedural, administrative and programming matters for the Independent Examination. They should be the first point of contact for any person or organisation that has fed into the previous public consultations and will liaise between OPDC, the Planning Inspector and participants taking part in the hearings.

Correspondence or queries relating to the examination process can be directed to the Programme Officer in the following way:

  • By post: c/o Banks Solutions, 80 Lavinia Way, East Preston, West Sussex, BN16 1DD
  • Via email 
  • Over the phone: 07519 628064 or 01903 776601

Expected Examination timeframe

The expected timeframe is as follows:
*The timescales are indicative as each examination differs dependent on the complexity of the Local Plan being examined and questions arising from the Inspector. Any updates to timescales will appear here.

Timing Key Actions Lead
4 October 2018
  • Local Plan submitted by OPDC
October 2018
  • Planning Inspector appointed and administrative review of Local Plan carried out
Planning Inspectorate
October 2018 to March 2019
  • Early appraisal of the Local Plan and identification of any issues and/or questions
  • Requests for any further information to address issues and/or questions
  • Structure and timetable of hearing sessions determined and participants identified
  • Participants notified
  • Responses to Inspector’s issues and/or questions (Hearing Statements) developed by participants
  • Hearing Statements submitted by participants
  • Participants confirmed
  • Hearing Statements published on OPDC website
  • Final hearing session agendas circulated to participants and published on OPDC website
Planning Inspector
April 2019
  • Hearing sessions commence
Planning Inspector


The Planning Inspector's next steps

Following the close of the hearings, the Inspector may identify main modifications needed in the Local Plan to make it sound. These changes would then require an additional six-week public consultation to be carried out.

After the close of this additional consultation, the Planning Inspector will draft their report, which may include any of the main modifications. OPDC must then make the main modifications set out in the Inspector’s Report to the Local Plan before it is then considered by the OPDC Planning Committee and Board for adoption.

Further information on the examination process can be found in the supporting document ‘Procedural Practice in the Examination of Local Plan’.

What will the Planning Inspector assess?

The Planning Inspector will assess whether the Local Plan has been prepared in accordance with the legal and procedural requirements such as the Duty to Cooperate and whether it is ‘Sound’. This will include consideration as to whether the Local Plan is:

  • Positively prepared – the plan should be prepared based on a strategy which seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development;
  • Justified – the plan should be the most appropriate strategy, when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence;
  • Effective – the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities; and
  • Consistent with national policy – the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development and must be in general conformity with the Mayor’s London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework  and National Planning Practice Guidance.

A key part of this stage in the process; Hearing sessions

Hearings sessions will be held for the Planning Inspector to examine the soundness of the Local Plan (as outlined above). Issues and questions identified by the Planning Inspector will determine the timetable of the hearings and who they will invite to attend. Those asked to attend hearings are called participants. Participants will include members of OPDC staff and selected stakeholders who submitted responses to the two most recent public consultations (held in 2017 and 2018). 

Participants will provide responses to the Planning Inspector’s issues and questions, these are called Hearing Statements. The Hearing Statements will be published on the website once made.

Hearing sessions are chaired by the Inspector and are open to the public but only participants identified by the Planning Inspector will be able to contribute during these meetings.

Hearing Venue

As part of the Examination, public hearing sessions will be held as follows. 

London Councils, 59½ Southwark Street, London, SE1 0AL 

•    Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 April 2019 (Friday 5 is a reserve day) 
•    Monday 8, Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 April 2019 (Friday 12 is a reserve day)
•    Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 April 2019 (Thursday 18 is a reserve day) 


Morning sessions start at 10am and afternoon sessions start at 2pm.

Further and any updated information is provided in the Draft Programme.

Important changes to the Local Plan Hearing Programme for Session 15 and 17

Session 15 on Protection of Pubs policies has been moved to the morning of Monday 15 April, immediately following Session 14 Town Centre Policies.

Session 17(Q13), whether the inclusion or exclusion of land from SIL is justified, has moved to the morning of Tuesday 16 April, immediately following Session 16(Q12) industrial intensification.  It is still likely Session 17(Q13) will overspill into the afternoon, but anyone wishing to observe Session 17 (Q13) may wish to come in the morning.


The decision on the location for OPDC’s Local Plan Independent Examination was informed by an objective review of venues within the OPDC area and venues close to City Hall and OPDC’s offices -169 Union Street, SE1 2AA.

The review considered:

  • health and safety
  • location
  • accessibility
  • room(s) size and layout
  • electronic working facilities
  • photocopying availability
  • other facilities 
  • costs

These considerations were informed by:

  • the Government’s Public Inquiries; Hearings and Examinations – venue and facility requirements (2016) guidance
  • the Planning Inspectorate’s Procedural Practice in the Examination of Local Plans (2016) 
  • the principles of public life set out in the Committee on Standards in Public Life (1995)
  • discussions with the Independent Examination’s Programme Officer

London Councils was selected as the preferred venue due its ability to best meet the above considerations.

OPDC will reimburse reasonable travel expenses incurred by community members to reach the hearing venues by public transport. Please contact OPDC at [email protected] where further information will be provided.