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Black Country Joint Core Strategy

Independent Examination of the Black Country Core Strategy


Inspectors' report published


Following submission to the Secretary of State on 26 February 2010, the Black Country Core Strategy was subject to independent scrutiny by way of an examination.


The purpose of the examination was to consider if the Development Plan Document (DPD) complied with the legal requirements and is ‘sound’.  The Secretary of State appointed an independent Inspector Nigel Payne BSc (Hons) DipTP MRTPI MCMI to conduct the examination.  He was assisted by Inspector Vincent Maher MA (Cantab) MCD MBA MRTPI.  


The hearing sessions for the examination were held on 13  - 27 July 2010 at the Novotel Wolverhampton.  View the final programme below. 


The Inspectors' Report was published in October 2010.  The Inspectors have concluded that the Black Country Core Strategy is sound and provides an appropriate basis for the planning of the area to 2026. 


Information regarding the Examination Stage and hearings sessions


Final list of Further Minor Changes


As a result of the revocation of the West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy by the Secretary of State, the Councils asked the Inspectors to endorse a final list of Further Minor Changes to the wording of the Joint Core Strategy for clarity and accuracy.  This document (dated 24 September 2010) can be downloaded below.


List of material circulated at hearings


Following  matter 4 (Housing - general) the Local Authorities submitted a note explaining the issue of Regeneration Corridor housing figures, with particular regard to Tables 6 & 7 within Policy HOU1.  Available for downloading below


Following matter 5 (Housing - policies)the Inspector wrote a note on the gypsy pitch forecast 2008 – 2018 to which the Councils responded.  Both notes are available for downloading below.


Following the session for matter 6 (Environment) on Thursday 15 July, Nick Hollands of RPS (acting on behalf of Westfeld) emailed some suggested wording changes to the Programme Officer.  This email is available for downloading below.


The Local Authorities submitted a supplementary statement on Strategic Centres Office Floorspace along with the Black Country Study - Town Centre Issues Technical Paper No. 3 Office Floorspace Capacity.  These relate to a request made by the Inspector at matter 11 (Centres/Retail).  Both documents are avilable for downloading below.


At the session for matter 11 (Centres/Retail)  on Thursday 15 July, NJL Consulting (on behalf of Peel Holdings) circulated some suggested track changes re. policies CEN 1-8.  The following made a response:

Black Country Authorities 

London & Cambridge Properties (David Smith, Turley Assocs)

Westfield (Nick Hollands, RPS)

All responses are available for downloading below.


Following the session for matter 16, (Walsall MBC Site Specific Submissions and other submissions affecting regeneration corridors 5, 6, 7 & 15)  the Councils submitted the planning conditions for Crown Wharf Retail Park, Wolverhampton Street, Walsall. Available for downloading below.


Matters 8 and 9 - The Councils have submitted proposed changes to the Minerals and Waste policies following the revocation of regional spatial strategies. Available for downloading below.


Matters 8 and 9 - Potters Clay and Coal Company submitted 2 plans of Yorks Bridge.  Available for downloading below.


Letter from Inspectors to Black County Authorities regarding RSS


On 14 June 2010 the Programme Officer wrote to the Black Country Authorities on behalf of the Inspectors, following the letter from the Secretary of State regarding regional spatial strategies and the recent Minsterial Statement of 9 June 2010 amending PPS 3.  The Councils replied on 24 June 2010.  Both letters are available for downloading below.


On 6 July 2010 the Secretary of State announced the revocation of Regional Strategies with immediate effect under section 79(6) of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009.  

Click here to view the letter from Steve Quartermain to Local Planning Authorities.


Subsequently, this action was challenged in the High Court by developer Cala Homes. The High Court determined on 10 November 2010 that Section 79 powers could not be used to revoke all Regional Strategies in their entirety. The effect of this decision was to re-establish Regional Strategies as part of the development plan.