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Introduction

Merton's Local Plan and Policies Map was submitted to the Secretary of State on 2 December 2021. The Secretary of State has appointed G J Fort BA PGDip LLM MCD MRTPI and R J Aston BSc (Hons) DipTP MRTPI to conduct the examination. The timetable for the examination will be available in early 2022.

Carmel Edwards has been appointed as the Programme Officer for the examination and will deal with all procedural and administrative matters. Ms Edwards will act as a channel of communication between the Inspectors and all parties, including the council officers and representors. All correspondence or queries relating to the examination should be directed to the Programme Officer by telephone on 07969 631 930 or by email at programmeofficer@carmeledwards.com

Examination news

This will be regularly updated and direct you to any new documents or correspondence.

21 November 2022 – In response to a request from the Inspectors, the Council have issued a topic paper on Areas of Deficiency in Access to Nature (added to the Examination Library as LBM20). The Inspectors have issued a Note explaining the process for participant written responses to this topic paper. This Note can be viewed in the examination library as INSP21.

27 October 2022 - The Inspectors have issued a non-verbatim note of the hearings closing session. This can be viewed in the examination library as INSP20.

12 October 2022 - The Inspectors have issued a revised programme for the Stage 2 Hearings as INSP18 Stage 2 Updated Programme. This can be viewed in the examination library. Please note that the contingency day on Friday 21 October will be a virtual session.

29 September 2022 - The Inspectors have issued the revised programme for the Stage 2 Hearings as INSP17 Stage 2 Hearings Programme. This can be viewed in the examination library. The Zoom connection details for the live-streaming of the hearing sessions have also been published under the 'Hearing session' sub heading on the Local Plan Examination webpage.

23 September 2022 - Hearing Statements have been received in response to the inspectors’ Stage 2 Matters, Issues and Questions. These are available to view on the Stage 2 hearing statement webpage. As part of its responses to the Stage 2 Inspectors’ Matters, Issues and Questions the council has proposed modifications to the Local Plan which are contained in Documents LBM13 to LBM14; for ease of understanding LBM15 contains the latest version of Merton’s Local Plan incorporating all of the proposed modifications. These documents are available in the  Local Plan examination library

30 August 2022 - the inspectors have issued a note regarding site visits. This can be viewed in the examination library as INSP16.

3 August 2022 - the inspectors have issued their Matters, Issues and Questions for Stage 2 of the examination, as Document INSP13. They have also issued a Guidance Note, INSP14, and a Draft Hearings Programme INSP15. These can be viewed in the examination library.

8 July 2022 - The inspectors have issued a note on the closing session of the Stage 1 hearings. This is available to view as INSP12 in the Local Plan examination library. As several matters that were the focus of the Stage 1 Hearing sessions are due to be discussed further at Stage 2 following the production of further work by the Council, the Inspectors will not be issuing a post-hearings letter at this point. The Inspectors will, however, publish the Matters, Issues and Questions which will form the basis of discussions at Stage 2 in due course.

24 June 2022 - The Stage 1 examination hearings ran to the timetable and closed yesterday afternoon. The contingency day, scheduled for Wednesday 29 June, will not be needed. Details of the Stage 2 hearings, due to take place between 4 - 7 October and 18 – 21 October 2022, will be published in due course.

17 June 2022 - The inspectors have issued a supplementary note for the Stage 1 hearings, relating to the rail strikes due to take place in in the week commencing 20 June 2022. This is available to view as INSP09 in the Local Plan examination library

13 June 2022 – Connection details for the Zoom live-streaming of the hearing sessions have been published under the ‘Hearing sessions’ sub heading on the Local Plan Examination webpage.

08 June 2022 - The inspectors have issued an update to the revised programme. This is due to the availability of rooms and to identify some additional attendees at some of the sessions. This updated timetable is available to view as INSP08 in the Local Plan examination library

07 June 2022 - The inspectors have issued supplementary guidance for the Stage 1 hearings. This is available to view as INSP07 in the Local Plan examination library.   

27 May 2022 - The inspectors have reviewed the requests to appear at the public hearings in June. In order to make the hearings more efficient and cost effective, the inspectors have revised the hearings timetable, reducing it from three weeks to two. This revised timetable is available to view as INSP06.in the Local Plan examination library

23 May 2022 - Hearing Statements have been received in response to the inspectors’ Matters, Issues and Questions. These are available to view in the Local Plan examination library. As part of its responses to the Inspectors’ Matters, Issues and Questions the council has proposed modifications to the Local Plan and appraised these for sustainability, equality and diversity and habitats. The proposed modifications and the appraisals are contained in Documents LBM03 to LBM08; for ease of understanding LBM05 contains the latest version of Merton’s Local Plan incorporating all of the proposed modifications. These documents are also available in the  Local Plan examination library

22 April 2022 - The Inspectors’ Matters, Issues and Questions have been updated to correct a typographical error in Matter 14, Issue (i), Q5. This updated version is available to view in the examination library as INSP03a.

08 April 2022 – the inspectors have issued their Matters, Issues and Questions for the examination, as Document INSP03. They have also issued a Guidance Note, INSP04, and a Draft Hearings Programme INSP05. These can be viewed in the examination library.

28 March 2022  - we have responded to the inspectors’ second preliminary letter as Document LBM02 in the examination library.

25 March 2022 – the inspectors have published the dates for the examination hearings – please see the Public Notice of Hearings for Merton’s Local Plan.

22 March 2022 – the inspectors have issued a second preliminary letter to the council, as Document INSP02 in the examination library.

2 March 2022 – We have responded to the inspectors’ preliminary matters and questions as Document LBM01 in the examination library. Responses to questions j and k will follow shortly.

28 January 2022 – the inspectors have issued their preliminary matters and questions to Merton Council, as Document INSP01 in the examination library - Local Plan submission

Hearing sessions

The Inspectors are conducting a series of public hearings as part of the examination process, which are being held in the council chamber at Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM4 5DX. All sessions are open to the public to attend. Please contact the Programme Officer if you wish to observe the hearings in person. The hearings will not be recorded but will be live-streamed using Zoom.

The hearings have been divided into two stages:

  • Stage 1 of the hearing sessions will commence at 10:00am on Tuesday 14 June 2022 and finish on Thursday 23 June
  • Stage 2 of the hearing sessions will commence at 10:00am from:
    • Tuesday 4 October to Friday 7 October 2022 and on
    • Tuesday 18 October to Friday 21 October 2022

You can connect to the Stage 2 hearing sessions via this Zoom link and Webinar ID: 859 2666 1274.

The examination process

If you wish to find out in more about how the examination will be carried out, please see the Procedure Guide for Local Plan Examinations - (GOV.UK website)

The Planning Inspectorate have updated their short guide aimed mainly at those taking part in their first one. Please see Local Plans: taking part in examinations (GOV.UK website)

Submitted Local Plan

Merton’s Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State on 2 December 2021 The submitted documents are available in the examination library  

Privacy Notices

Merton Council's Privacy Notice tells you what to expect when we collect personal information and your rights in relation to that information.

Representations received will be sent to the Planning Inspector. The Planning Inspectorate privacy notice (GOV.UK website) provides advice about how the Planning Inspectorate will process any personal information. It is very important that you read and consider these notices carefully because they explain how your personal information will be used and stored.