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St Helens Borough Council submitted the St Helens Borough Local Plan 2020 – 2035 Submission Draft (2019) to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination on 29 October 2020.
The Examination in Public has now started, which is the last stage in the plan-making process. Once the St Helens Borough Local Plan has been adopted, it will form part of the development plan for the borough and will replace the existing Local Plan Core Strategy, which was adopted in 2012, and the Saved Policies of the 1998 St Helens Unitary Development Plan.
For more details, please see the Local Plan Examination page.
New national guidance concerning the examination of local plans by inspectors was issued in June 2019. The new guidance confirms (in paragraph 1.19) that:
“..To ensure an effective and fair examination, it is also important that the Inspector and all other participants in the examination process are able to know who has made representations on the plan. The [Council] should therefore ensure that they are able, lawfully, to process personal data held in relation to representations on the plan so that the representations can be made available without redaction of names and addresses and taken into account by the examining Inspector”.
The guidance also states (in paragraph 2.4) that:
"The examination website is the principal means by which all the documents for the examination are made available to participants and the public"
The guidance therefore indicates that when the council publishes the representations received about the Plan (as it must do under national regulations) it should do so with names and addresses of respondents visible.
In accordance with advice received from the Information Commissioner's Office, the council has contacted those who made representations to advise them of this new position. You can view a copy of the information sent to respondents.
If you do not want your name or postal address to be made publicly available, we would be grateful if you would let us know by e-mail or letter to be received by us by 18 October 2019 at the latest. Our contact details for this purpose are:
In any cases where respondents do not want their name or address to be published but still wish their response to be considered, we propose to seek the inspector’s advice (once they are appointed). Please note, however, that under the new national guidance referred to above, we cannot guarantee that the inspectors will consider any representations where the name or address is not visible.
Where a representation has five or more signatories, we have treated them as a petition. In such cases, we still propose to redact the names and addresses of all signatories except the principal petitioner (who would have their name and address made publicly available). Where a representation has fewer than five signatories, the advice set out above applies.