14 months after the first set of Examination Hearings on the Swale Local Plan began in November 2015, SPRU attended the resumed hearings during January and February. These sessions discussed the Council’s Modifications to the submitted Plan, which focused on Sustainability Appraisal and site selection, growth strategy, 5 year land supply and the mechanisms for a review.
Representations made by SPRU on the Sustainability Appraisal set out issues of legal non-compliance, raised questions over the objectivity of the assessment and identified important issues such as the delivery of affordable housing missing from the Council’s assessments. SPRU’s detailed review of the 5 year housing land supply demonstrated an undersupply of housing and suggested a means to resolve this issue to the Inspector; the Council’s supply is overly reliant upon numerous large urban extensions within a small geographical area and sites where their deliverability is questionable. The Inspector indicated that further modifications would be required to make the Plan sound.