St Helens Borough Local Plan progresses as Secretary of State appoints independent inspectors

St Helens Borough Local Plan progresses as Cabinet approves submission to Secretary of State

Independent planning inspectors tasked with examining St Helens Borough’s Local Plan have been appointed by the Government, bringing the plan another step closer towards adoption.

The Secretary of State has appointed Mark Dakeyne BA (Hons) MRTPI and Victoria Lucas LLB (Hons) MCD MRTPI as planning inspectors to conduct the examination process.

The Local Plan was submitted at the end of October, along with approximately 2,000 representations – responses to the most recent consultation.

The inspectors have been carrying out their initial assessment of the plan, looking at the legal compliance and soundness of the submitted documents, the evidence base and the representations.

They are likely to raise some preliminary questions with the council, which will be made available on the examination webpage when they are issued, followed by the council’s responses in due course.

The next stage will be the hearing sessions, which are likely to take place in late Spring or early Summer 2021, but it’s unclear at this stage what format they will take as account will need to the taken of any COVID-19 restrictions that may be in place. They are likely to last for approximately three weeks with a break after the first week.

Residents may participate in the hearing sessions and should contact Kerry Trueman, an independent intermediary between the council and the planning inspectors, by 15 January 2021 by phoning 07582 310364 or emailing

Publication of the inspectors’ report on the Local Plan will formally close the examination stage of the process.

The council will only be able to adopt the plan if it is found to be legally compliant and sound by the planning inspector as set out in their final report.

Government requires that every local authority area adopts a plan. St Helens Borough’s has been developed around five key priorities: supporting a growing population and strong economy; a continuing commitment to brownfield first development; regenerating town and district centres; protecting and enhancing open green spaces; and investing in infrastructure.

In reaching this stage, the plan has undergone three public consultations with residents, local communities, businesses and other stakeholders.

To stay up to date with the examination process visit

Residents can view the easy to read, full colour executive summary of the plan, setting out its scope and vision online at

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