New Southwark Plan Examination

What is the New Southwark Plan?

The New Southwark Plan (NSP) will be a new borough-wide planning and regeneration strategy up to 2033. Not only will it set out planning policies to guide development but it will also explain how development will be delivered and may inform future decisions about investment in infrastructure. The spatial plan consists of three main areas:

  1. Area visions – setting out the aspirations of the borough’s distinctive neighbourhoods
  2. Planning policies – informing decisions on planning applications and development proposals
  3. Site allocations – potential development sites with specifications for development requirements

Once finalised and adopted, it will replace the current local plan, comprising the saved Southwark Plan policies 2007 and the Core Strategy 2011, and will be used to make decisions on planning applications.

Current stage – After submission

The council submitted NSP to the Secretary of State on 16 January 2020. This means the ‘Examination in Public’ process has now started, which is the last stage of the plan-making process. On 17 January we were allocated two Inspectors by the Planning Inspectorate. The Inspectors are David Spencer BA(Hons) DipTP MRTPI and Philip Mileham BA(Hons) MA MRTPI. Throughout the examination process, the Planning Inspectors will examine and assess NSP based on the following criteria:

  • Has it complied with the ‘duty to cooperate’?
  • Does it meet all the necessary legal requirements?
  • Is it sound?
  • Is it well evidence-based?
  • Is it deliverable?
  • Is it compliant with national and regional policy?

What happens next?

The Planning Inspectorate has now appointed two Inspectors who will undertake the initial assessment of the plan and preparation for the hearing sessions. During this period, we may receive initial queries from the Inspectors on certain issues and matters relating to the plan in form of pre-hearing statements. After the initial assessment is complete, the Inspectors will make contact with our programme officer (PO, see below) to set a provisional start date for the hearing sessions (which the PO will inform representors by email).

The public hearing sessions chaired by the Inspectors will be an essential part of the examination process, where the council prepares for the hearings, and the Inspectors and PO contact the participants and produce a hearing timetable. Participants will include council officers but may also include persons or organisations that submitted a representation during Regulation 19 consultation and whom are invited by the Inspectors.

The purpose of the examination webpage

To facilitate the smooth running and transparency of the examination, this webpage provides access to all the relevant documents, including Submission Version NSP and the supporting documents along with the previous versions of the plan and documents. As the examination progresses, more information about the assessment stage and organisation of the hearing sessions will be published.

The programme officer

The council has appointed a programme officer for the examination process, who undertakes the administration of all aspects of the examination under the Inspector’s direction, including arrangement of hearing sessions and all communications outside the hearing sessions between the Inspector, Southwark Council and other parties. 

Programme officer: Magda Bartosch

Contact email:

The Inspector

Details will be announced in due course.

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Page last updated: 06 February 2020