Local Plan Examination


The Authority formally adopted the Exmoor National Park Local Plan on 4th July 2017. As soon as reasonably practicable the Authority will make available: the local plan; an adoption statement; the sustainability appraisal report; and details of where the Local Plan is available for inspection.

The Authority received the Inspector's Report on 15th June 2017. The Report sets out Inspector Roger Clews' conclusions on the Exmoor National Park Local Plan 2011-2031:

Inspector's Report (1,454 KB - PDF)

The report concludes that the Local Plan is 'sound' subject to a number of Main Modifications suggested by the Authority. It also sets out the Inspector's findings on matters which were discussed during the examination hearing sessions held in July 2016.

The next stage is to finalise the Local Plan and recommend its adoption as part of the Development Plan.

Further details relating to the examination process are available on the Local Plan Examination Library page

The Authority has written to the Inspector (19th April 2017) to request him to recommend the modifications necessary to make the Local Plan sound or legally compliant - in accordance with Section 20 (7C) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended). The letter (EX38) has been added to the Examination Library.

Through the Local Plan Examination, several policies and supporting text in the Local Plan were identified where a Main Modification was required to address concerns identified by the Inspector, or other representations to the Plan, or to reflect changes to national planning policy.

As a result of new evidence relating to projected housing need, further changes to Section 6 of the Local Plan “Achieving a Thriving Community” were also proposed. As these particular changes to the Plan, were not the subject of previous consultation or discussion at the hearing sessions held in July, a separate consultation was required.

A Schedule of Main Modifications to the Local Plan and a Schedule of Proposed Changes to Section 6 of the Local Plan, together with a Sustainability Appraisal and a Habitats Regulations Assessment, was published for public consultation between  Friday 13th January and 4pm on 24th February 2017.


Document EX31 has been added to the Examination Library and a further written statement by the ENPA in relation to the Inspector's Invitation to Comment on the implications of the 2014-based household projections released by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 12th July 2016.

Documents EX29 and EX30 have been added to the Examination Library regarding Policy ES-S2 The Lynton & Lynmouth Neighbourhood Plan.

The documents EX24 - EX28 have been added to the Examination Library documents regarding background information to the Inspector's site visits (23rd August 2016).

Statements relating to an Invitation to Comment on a number of General Examination documents (EX11, EX12, EX14-EX19) have been added to the Examination Library (16th August 2016).

Additional documents have been added to the General Examination documents (EX) available in the Examination Library. An updated list of hearing documents is also available.

The Examination Hearing Sessions were held from 12th - 15th July 2016 at the Exmoor National Park Authority offices - Exmoor House, Dulverton.

Exmoor National Park Authority's response to the initial questions along with the Written Statements for the Hearings, and a Statement of Common Ground made between Exmoor National Park Authority and the National Trust have been sent to the Inspector.  These documents, together with statements submitted by participants, and other information relating directly to the hearing sessions, are available under the Examination Library page.

Guidance notes and a draft programme for the examination hearing sessions are available on the Examination Library page.

Exmoor National Park Authority received the initial assessment letter and queries on Friday 27th May from the Inspector.

Exmoor National Park Authority submitted the Local Plan to 2031 to the Secretary of State on Friday 6th May 2016 for independent examination.

Notice of Submission

Examination Library

The examination library lists all the documents made available throughout the examination process, including: general examination documents; hearing documents; submission documents; and the evidence base.

Examination Library

The submission of the Exmoor National Park Local Plan and accompanying documents are available for inspection at:

Exmoor House, Dulverton, Somerset, TA22 9HL - weekdays from 9.00am until 5.00pm (4.00pm Fridays)

The Inspector

Planning Inspector Roger Clews BA MSc DipEd DipTP MRTPI has been appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness of the Exmoor National Park Local Plan.

The relevant soundness criteria are whether the Local Plan is:

  1. positively prepared (based on a strategy that 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);
  2. justified (the most appropriate strategy when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence);
  3. effective (the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities); and
  4. consistent with national policy (the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework). 

The Inspector will take account of the representations received during the consultation on the Publication Draft Local Plan as far as they relate to soundness considerations.  A number of hearing sessions will take place on the principal matters identified by the Inspector. 

Following the closure of the hearings, the Inspector prepares a report to the Authority with precise recommendations, these recommendations may include modifications to the Local Plan, if such a request is made by the National Park Authority.