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Latest Update: 17th May 2024


Hearing Sessions commenced at 9.30am on Wednesday 8th May within Shaw House, Church Road, Newbury, RG14 2DR. The Hearings are due to take place over a four week period with Week 2 due to be held within the Council Chamber of West Berkshire Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD. Further information is contained in Document IN7.

The hearing sessions will be live-streamed to the Council's YouTube Channel. They will also be available to view for the remainder of the examination hearings.

17th May 2024 - EXAM 26 - Council's Response to IN14: Week 1 Action Points & EXAM 26A - West Berkshire Strategic Transport Model - Local Plan Forecasting Report, IN17 - Inspector Note on Future discussions as a result Action Points from Week 1 Hearings and consequential revised agendas for Days 3 & 4 and Day 5  published.

16th May 2024 - Hearing Agendas for Days 3 & 4 considering Matter 4 and Day 5 considering Matters 5 & 6 published.

14th May 2024 - IN14 - Actions List from Week 1 republished with extended response deadline of noon on Monday 20th May for AP's 1 & 2.

13th May 2024 - IN14 - Actions List from Week 1 Hearings published.

3rd May 2024 - Latest Programme, EXAM 24 - Statement of Common Ground between WBC & Environment Agency together with an Accompanying Note and EXAM 25 - Statement of Common Ground between WBC & National Highways published.

2nd May 2024 - EXAM 23 - Council's Schedule of Proposed Main Modifications (as at 2nd May) published.

29th April 2024 - Venue information sheets for Shaw House and the Council Chamber,  Hearing Agendas for Day 1 (Matters 1 & 2) and Day 2 (Matter 3) published.

26th April 2024 - EXAM 22 - WBC Response to the Inspector's Supplementary Question (IN11) on Housing Requirement, Supply and Plan Period published.

23rd April 2024 - A revised programme and list of participants for the hearings have been published in an updated IN10.  These supersede Annex A and Annex B in IN10 published on 5 April 2024. The only change to the structure of the programme is that matters 12 and 13 will now be dealt with on Wednesday 13 June 2024, and there will be no hearing session on Thursday 14 June 2024.

15th April 2024 - IN11 - Inspector's Supplementary Question to Council on Housing Requirement, Housing Supply & Plan Period published.

5th April 2024 - IN10 - Inspector's Note on Hearing Guidance & Programme , the Council's Matter 11 Statement and the Council's Response to IN8 re Spatial Strategy and Distribution of Housing Supply published.

4th April 2024 - Maps to assist the Inspector’s unaccompanied site visits of SP16 Sandleford Park and SP17 North East Thatcham have been published following his request on 5 March (IN9) - EXAM 20. A correction has also been made to document EMP4 - Employment Land Review Addendum, an explanation can be found on page 2 of the document. A Written Statement from AWE Aldermaston & AWE Burghfield Residents Group has been accepted, the submission is relevant to both Matter 3 and Matter 6.

26th March 2024 - The Index of Written Statements has been updated with submissions for Matters 4 to 13. Please note the Council's Matter 11 Statement in relation to Economic Development is expected by the 5th of April.

21st March 2024 - EXAM 19 - Sandleford Park Appeal Decision 2022 published.

20th March 2024 - EXAM 17 - Statement of Common Ground Between WBC, Network Rail, Englefield Estate & Beftonforth & EXAM 18 - Statement of Common Ground Between WBC and Network Rail published.

19th March 2024 - EXAM 15 - Regulation 24 Notice of Hearings & EXAM 16 - Hampshire County Council Highways - Position Email to WBC published.

5th March 2024 - IN 9 - Inspector Note to LPA regarding Maps for Site Visits & EXAM 14 - Statement of Common Ground Between WBC and Thames Water published.

27th February 2024 - IN 8 - Inspector's Supplementary Question to WBC published.

23rd February 2024 - EXAM 13 - Statement of Common Ground between WBC & Historic England published.

21st February 2024 - Statement Index updated.

20th February 2024 - IN7 - Inspectors Note on Hearing Sessions and Programme published.

19th February 2024 - Written Statements for Matters 1 to 3 published.

15th February 2024 - EXAM 6 - Appeal Decision - Reading Road, Burghfield Common , EXAM 7 - Bracknell Forest DC Duty to Co-operate Letter, EXAM 8 - Newbury Town Centre Masterplan, EXAM 9 - Thatcham Town Centre Strategy, EXAM 10 - Hungerford Town Centre Strategy, EXAM 11 - West Berkshire Employment Land Review Update & EXAM 12 - Housing Land Supply Position Update February 2024 published.

6th February 2024 - EXAM 4 - Shyshack Lane Appeal Decision & EXAM 5 - Approved Consent Order - AWE v SSLUHC and Others published.

2nd February 2024 - A revised version of the NPPF was published on 20 December 2023, and has been added to the examination library [NAT3].   However, the transitional arrangements in paragraphs 227 to 230 mean that the Inspector will continue to examine the Plan in the context of NPPF July 2021 [NAT1].

14th December 2023 - A Written Ministerial Statement on local energy efficiency standards was made on the 13th December 2023. This should be taken into account in responding to the Inspector's Questions 8.7 and 12.1 in document IN6.

30th November 2023 - IN6 - Inspector's Matters, Issues and Questions v2 published. The update relates to a new question being added to section 9.6 with reference to Policy DM1 - Residential Development in the Countryside.

28th November 2023 - SET9 - Settlement Boundary Review Background Paper added to documents list.

21st November 2023 - IN6 - Inspector's Matters, Issues & Questions published.

8th November 2023 - The Council have reissued their response to the Inspector's Preliminary Questions. The update relates to PQ15a and Neighbourhood Plan Timetables.

1st November 2023 - Alphabetical List of Regulation 19 Representations published.

26th October 2023 - Inspector's Note on Next Steps published.

23rd October 2023 - Council's response to Inspector's Supplementary Preliminary Questions published.

13th October 2023 - CD3 Sustainability Appraisal Non Technical Summary added to the Examination Library.

10th October 2023 - The Inspector submitted Supplementary Preliminary Questions.

4th October 2023 - Following a request from the Council, the Inspector has agreed to add a number of additional documents to the evidence base section of the examination library.  The documents are either referred to in policies in the Plan or were produced to inform the preparation of the Plan.

1st October 2023 - Council's Response to Inspector's Preliminary Questions Published.

11th July 2023 - Following a request from the Council, the Inspector has agreed to add five core documents to the examination library (CD12-16).  The documents had been published in 2018-2019 under regulation 18 consultation, and relate to the sustainability appraisal and public consultation carried out during the preparation of the Plan.

26th June 2023 - Inspector Update on Examination Programme (IN 3)

20th June 2023 - A letter from the Council requesting an extension of time to respond to the Inspector's Preliminary Questions has been published (EXAM 1).

22nd May 2023 - Inspector's Preliminary Questions to the Council published. A response has been requested by 23rd June 2023.

10th May 2023 - Inspector's Guidance Notes published.

21st April 2023 -  ​Planning Inspector; William Fieldhouse BA(Hons) MA MRTPI appointed to conduct an independent Examination into the soundness and legal compliance of the Local Plan Update.​

31st March 2023 - Plan submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination.


Planning Inspector; William Fieldhouse BA(Hons) MA MRTPI has been appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness of West Berkshire's Local Plan Review (the Plan).

The Inspector’s task will be to consider the soundness and legal compliance of the submitted Plan, based on the criteria set out in paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2021 (the Framework) and associated regulations., namely the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, the Localism Act 2011 and the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.

The Inspector will take into account the representations submitted upon the Regulation 19 Draft Plan as far as they relate to soundness considerations. A number of informal debates will take place on the principal matters identified by the Inspector these are termed Hearing Sessions.

At the end of the Examination, the Inspector will prepare a report to the Council with precise recommendations, these recommendations may include modifications to the Plan, if such a request is made by the Council.


My role is to act as the point contact for any person who has an interest in the Examination and as a liaison between the Inspector, Council and Representors. ​I am an independent Officer of the Examination and work on behalf of the Inspector to organise and manage the administrative and procedural elements of the Examination process. ​Any matters that anyone wishes to raise with the Inspector should be submitted to me in the first instance. 


Address: ​PO Box 241, Droitwich, Worcestershire, WR9 1DW

Email: ​​

Telephone: ​07723009166​


16th February 2024 - Written Statements Deadline (Matters 1-3)

8th March 2024 - Participation Requests Deadline.

22nd March 2024 - Written Statements Deadline (Matters 4-13)

8th May 2024 - Hearing Sessions Commence.


Guidance Notes have been prepared by the Inspector to help people understand the process. Procedural Guidance for Local Plans has also been produced by the Planning Inspectorate, together with a short guide aimed at those participating in a local plan examination for the first time.


In preparing the Plan the Council both refer to and were informed by a number of documents that together form the 'Evidence Base' for the Examination. These documents can be accessed through the link below.


The following documents have been submitted since the Examination commenced.


The following Written Statements have been submitted in response to the Inspector's Matters, Issues and Questions.


Alphabetical List of all Regulation 19 Representations submitted in response to the consultation on the Proposed Submission Draft Plan.

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