Proposed Submission DaSA Local Plan - Guidance Notes for making Representations


Proposed Submission DaSA Local Plan - Guidance Notes for making Representations






Before making your representations on the Rother District Council 'Proposed Submission' Development and Site Allocations ("DaSA") Local Plan, we would encourage you to read the following guidance, as this explains where you can view the documents, how you can make representations, and the type of representations which can be considered at this stage. The Planning Inspectorate (an independent body that will examine/assess our Plan) has set out the structure of the representations process.

Importantly, you need to be aware that this period to make representations is more formal than in the previous stages of the DaSA Local Plan preparation. The easiest way to make your representations is via our online consultation system.

In any event, representations must be submitted before the closing date. We will not accept representations received after Friday 7 December at 4.30pm precisely.



Viewing documents

The DaSA Local Plan and all accompanying documents can be viewed on the Council's online consultation system, and can also be downloaded from the Development and Site Allocations (DaSA) Local Plan page.

They are also available for public inspection, during normal working hours, at the following deposit points until Friday 7 December 2018:

  • Rother District Council Town Hall, Town Hall Square, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN39 3JX
  • Rye Help Point, 30a High Street, Rye, TN31 7JG
  • Battle Library, 7 Market Square, Battle, TN33 0XB.

Hard copies can be purchased online from the Development and Site Allocations (DaSA) Local Plan page, or in person at the Town Hall, Bexhill-on-Sea.



Making representations online

The Council's online consultation system can be found here.


Advantages of using the online system

  • Quick and easy to use.
  • You can save time - you only have to enter your personal details once.
  • View documents/representations online.
  • You do not have to submit your representations all in one sitting. You can save your representations and complete them at a later time/date if you wish.
  • You can update personal details instantly, such as change of address or email.
  • Ability to view other consultees' representations once they have been processed by the council.
  • Search - to view other representations on different items within a particular document.
  • Saves paper and cost of postage.


Guidance on completing your representations online - A step-by-step guide

  1. Click here to go to the Council's online consultation system. This will open a new browser:
    Online Consultation System 01 [images] Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

  2. If this is your first time using the online system, you must register using the 'Register now' link.  Once you have registered you will be returned to the consultation front page, your name will appear in the top left of the screen, along with your representation ID.  Please remember your user name and password in order to access the system on another day or for future consultations.

    If you are already registered, please enter your user name and password to log-in. If you have forgotten your password, you can request another by following the on-screen instructions.

    If you need help using the system, there is a help section on the consultation front page, just click on the prompt next to this symbol.
    Online Consultation System Help [images] Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window


  3. Once you have logged-on, in order to make representations, scroll down the page to the section entitled 'Current Documents Open to Public Consultation' and click on 'Proposed Submission Development and Site Allocations (DaSA) Local Plan'. You will automatically be taken to the contents page. You can click on the chapters you wish to view/make representations on.

  4. You can make representations on any parts of the document which have a pencil icon. Click on the pencil icon next to the text to make your response.
    Online Consultation System 03 [images] Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

    Firstly, you should choose whether you support or object to the selected part of the DaSA Local Plan (please note that as this consultation stage is more formal than previously, any objection should be considered against legal compliance, soundness or compliance with the duty to cooperate - see the 'Scope of representations made on the DaSA Proposed Submission' section for more information).

    To write your representation, click on the box marked 'Representation' and enter your text. If your representation is over 200 words, you will be automatically prompted to provide a short summary in the 'representation summary' box. You are able to save your representations as a draft by clicking on the 'save as draft' button.

  5. If you are objecting to a part of the DaSA Local Plan, you should state any suggested changes in the relevant box. You should also mark whether you think the DaSA Local Plan is legally compliantSound and/or compliant with the duty to cooperate. If you do not believe that the DaSA Local Plan is Sound, you should tick the relevant Soundness test which the DaSA Local Plan fails (see the 'Soundness' section for information on the soundness test). You may only suggest changes to the Plan if you are objecting and have marked that you believe the plan to be unsound.

  6. You should also tick whether you wish to appear at the examination hearings (see the 'Appearing at the examination' section for further information on this).
    Online Consultation System 02 [images] Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

  7. When you are happy with your representation, click the 'submit' button at the bottom of the page. After submitting you will receive a confirmation email. If you wish to make further representations, you can scroll up or down to the next relevant section or return to the contents list at the top of the page. You can continue to make representations by clicking on the pencil icon.
    Online Consultation System Pen [images] Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window


  8. To view representations which others have made, you can click on the magnifying glass button.
    Online Consultation System Search [images] Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window


  9. Once you have finished making your representations, or wish to leave the webpage to make representations later, logout using the 'logout' button at the top of the page.

  10. If you leave the consultation site and come back to it, you do not need to re-register, but you will need to log-in using your username and password to make further comments.



Making representations by email or paper

The easiest way to make your representations is via our online consultation system. However, a representations form for email or postal submission can be found on the Development and Site Allocations (DaSA) Local Plan page.


Guidance on completing the PDF representation form

You must complete all your contact details on the first page of the form. We use this to identify who has made the representation(s), so it is important you complete this fully. The following pages are where you will be making representations on the DaSA Local Plan.

It is important to use a separate form for each representation you wish to make. Each representation you make must relate to a specific area and please keep your representations clear and concise.

You may submit the form yourself or on behalf of an organisation or company. Alternatively, you may ask someone to complete it for you if you need help. If an agent is appointed, their full details should also be given and all future correspondence will be sent to the agent.

If you are making a representation, it is important you refer to the document, chapter, policy number, paragraph number, and/or figure/Inset map number that you are making representations on.

Your representations should be clearly based on the tests of soundness as explained in this guide (legal compliance, justified, effective and consistent with national policy). Please clearly indicate in question 4b which test of soundness you think is not being met and explain your reasoning in question 6.

If you are objecting, you should clearly state what changes you think should be made in order to make the DaSA Local Plan sound and legally compliant.

Please ensure that you enter your name and the date on the last page of the form.

You can submit the form to us by email by clicking the blue Submit button at the bottom of the last page of this form. Follow the on-screen instructions ensuring that you enter your Email Address and Full Name if prompted to do so.

Alternatively this form can be saved and emailed to: Please note this email address will only be active during the representation period.

If you are completing the form by hand, please use BLOCK CAPITALS and BLACK INK and either scan and email it to or post it to: Service Manager - Strategy & Planning, Proposed Submission DaSA Local Plan, Rother District Council, Town Hall, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN39 3JX.



What can representations relate to?

Representations are required to fall under two main areas, legal compliance or soundness (soundness is broken down further into four areas, explained later on).

As a broad rule of thumb:

  • If you are making representations on how we prepared the DaSA Local Plan, the issue will be one of legal compliance. This also includes the Duty to Cooperate, which is shown separately below.
  • If you are making representations on the actual content of the plan, the issue will be one of soundness.


Legal compliance

If you think your representation is about legal compliance, bear in mind that the Inspector will consider the following questions:

  1. Is the DaSA Local Plan consistent with the Council's production timetable known as a Local Development Scheme?
  2. How has the community been involved in the process and has the Council met its Statement of Community Involvement?

    The Statement of Community Involvement states what we are committed to do. You may have your own ideas about what we should have done, but an Inspector will base his/her decision on the commitments we give in the Statement of Community Involvement.
  3. Does the DaSA Local Plan comply with the Town and County Planning (Local Development) (England Regulations) 2012 as amended?

    This includes publicly making available all the documents required in the Regulations upon the publication of the Proposed Submission DaSA Local Plan (Regulation 19 Document); as well as notifying all statutory consultation bodies.

    You can find the regulations by visiting:
  4. Was a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Report produced and how has it been carried out?

    You can find copies of our Sustainability Appraisal along with the most up-to-date version of the Proposed Submission DaSA Local Plan on our website on the Development and Site Allocations (DaSA) Local Plan page.



There are four areas to consider when looking at whether or not the Proposed Submission DaSA Local Plan is 'sound'. The tests of 'soundness' are set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), paragraph 35. To be sound, the DaSA Local Plan should be:

  1. Positively prepared;
  2. Justified;
  3. Effective; and
  4. Consistent with national policy.

1. Positively Prepared

To be positively prepared the DaSA Local Plan should be based on a strategy aimed at meeting identified development and infrastructure requirements.

2. Justified

The DaSA Local Plan must be set on a robust and credible evidence base. This includes:

  • Proof of involving the local community and key stakeholders.

    The easiest way to look at this issue is to look at our Consultation Statement which details the engagement activities we have undertaken. All this information is available on the Background Evidence page.

  • Making sure the choices made in the DaSA Local Plan are backed up by solid facts and research. The DaSA Local Plan should be an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based in proportionate evidence. These should all be realistic and have undergone a Sustainability Appraisal process looking at the pros and cons of each option.

    We have produced a Sustainability Appraisal report along with a number of background papers on the different policy areas, which should help you understand the reasons for our choices. You can find all these background papers along with any associated studies that we have used to guide us in our decision making by visiting our evidence page on the Background Evidence page.

3. Effective

This means that the policies and proposals in the DaSA Local Plan can actually happen and are deliverable. It should therefore include:

  • Sound infrastructure delivery planning through an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP).

    The IDP is also on the Background Evidence page. This was updated in 2015 to meet the needs of the scale and distribution of development in the Core Strategy and carried forward in the DaSA.

  • No barriers to delivery from regulations or through national planning policies.

  • Delivery partners are on board and signed up.

    These are key organisations other than developers, such as East Sussex County Council, who are responsible for Highways and Education provision in Rother district. It may also include the Environment Agency, South East Water, Southern Water and Sussex Police, for example.

  • Consistency with neighbouring authorities' strategies.

    We have worked with Hastings Borough Council, Wealden District Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Folkstone & Hythe District Council and Ashford Borough Council in the development of our Local Plan on strategic matters.

Any measures which the Council has included to make sure that targets are met should be clearly linked to the Local Plan Monitoring Report (LPMR). The LPMR should be produced each year by the Council and indicates whether any planning documents such as the DaSA Local Plan need amendment. The LPMR is available on the Monitoring page.

4. Consistent with national policy

The DaSA Local Plan should be consistent with national policy. However, a departure may be made where there is clear and convincing reasoning to justify a different approach.

If you consider that the Council should include a policy or policies which would depart from national policy to some degree, in order to meet a clearly identified and fully justified local need, it will be important for you to say in your representations what the local circumstances are which would justify a different policy approach to those set down in national policy. You should support your assertion with evidence.

If you think the DaSA Local Plan is missing a policy, before making your representations you should consider whether the issue you wish to raise is already covered specifically by national planning policy, or whether it is covered by any other policies in the DaSA Local Plan. If so, it is important to remember there is no need to repeat national policies, or policies elsewhere within the Plan.

If you are clear that a policy is missing, please consider the following questions:

  • If the policy is not covered elsewhere, in what way is the DaSA Local Plan unsound without the policy?
  • If the Plan is unsound without the policy, what should the policy say?


Duty to Cooperate

Does the DaSA Local Plan meet the requirements of the Duty to Cooperate?

The requirements of the Duty to Cooperate are set out in Section 110 of the Localism Act 2011 and Section 33A of the Planning and Compulsory Act 2004. The legislation requires all Local Planning Authorities to demonstrate that they have had active and on-going cooperation with key bodies, such as neighbouring authorities and other statutory bodies on strategic matters, including infrastructure, housing and employment need and housing.



Appearing at the examination

Following the conclusion of the public representation period, the Council will submit the DaSA Local Plan along with supporting documents and the representations received to the Planning Inspectorate for examination on behalf of the Secretary of State. During the examination a Planning Inspector will assess whether the Local Plan has been prepared in line with the relevant legal requirements (including the duty to cooperate) and whether it meets the tests of 'soundness' contained in the National Planning Policy Framework. The examination will include a public hearing, or "oral examination".

There is a section on the representation form which allows you to indicate whether or not you would like to participate at the examination hearings. Please remember it is the Inspector who decides who is heard at the examination. He/ she may decide that written representations are sufficient. Written representations will be given the same weight as oral evidence at the hearings by the Inspector.



Group responses

Where you are part of a group with a common view, it would be helpful for the Inspector if the group could submit a single representation outlining their concerns, rather than submitting a large number of individual duplicated representations. The group should also make clear how many people it is representing and how it has been authorised.



Confidentiality and the General Data Protection Regulations 2018

Representations cannot be treated in confidence. Regulations 22 and 35 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended), requires copies of the representations to be made publicly available. The Council will also provide names and associated representations on its website but will not publish personal information such as telephone numbers, emails, or private addresses. By submitting representations on the Proposed Submission DaSA Local Plan, you confirm that you agree to this and accept responsibility for your representations.

In line with the General Data Protection Regulations (2018), your details are stored on a secure system and are used only for the purposes of consultation for the Local Plan and associated documents. The latest Planning Policy Privacy Notice can be viewed pdf icon here [209kb].



General advice and information on making representations

  • Make clear why you feel the DaSA Local Plan does/does not meet the legal compliance check and/or the four tests of soundness.
  • Ensure you are clear and to the point.
  • Ensure you back up your points with clear evidence to justify your representations.
  • If you are still having problems you can call the Council's Planning Strategy Team on 01424 78768.

Please remember you can make your representations online using our online consultation system, please see the 'Making representations online' section.

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