10. Duty to Cooperate

The ‘Duty to Cooperate’ is one of the indicators that must be monitored and reported by the local authorities in line with the regulations.

The ‘Duty to Co-operate’ was introduced by the Localism Act in 2011. The Duty requires local planning authorities to work collaboratively with prescribed public bodies in relation to strategic issues throughout the plan-making process. Local authorities that are unable to demonstrate that they have met the requirements of the Duty are likely to have their Plan found unsound at Examination.

As part of the plan-making process as well as Council’s on-going commitment to meeting the requirements of the Duty, active engagement with the neighbouring local planning authorities and other organisations have taken place. This engagement will continue as part of the local plan process even after adoption.

Active engagement with the Housing Market Area (HMA) authorities and those outside the HMA has taken place at Member and officer level. HMA bodies include Leicester and Leicestershire authorities, and the Leicestershire & Leicester Local Entreprise Partnerhip (LLEP). The local authorities (apart of Melton) are:

  • Leicester City Council

  • Leicestershire County Council

  • Blaby District Council

  • Harborough District Council

  • Hinckley and Bosworth Council

  • North West Leicestershire District Council

  • Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

  • Charnwood Borough Council

Constant dialogue and formal consultation engagement has taken place with those neighbouring authorities outside the HMA. These authorities include:

  • Rushcliffe Borough Council

  • South Kesteven District Council

  • Rutland Council

  • Newark and Sherwood District Council

  • Lincolnshire County Council

  • Nottinghamshire County Council

Active engagement in the form of meetings and statement of common grounds with some as part of formal consultation process has also taken place with the following organisations:

  • Environment Agency

  • English Heritage (Heritage England)

  • Natural England

  • Primary Care Trust (and now Clinical Commissioning Groups)

  • Highways England

  • Sport England

  • Office of Rail and Road / Network Rail

Melton Borough Council is also involved in the preparation of the Strategic Growth Plan (SGP) along with the other Leicestershire authorities. The SGP is a non-statutory document which will identify and address strategic housing and employment issues across the County.

Over the last monitoring year (between 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017), there have been regular meetings (weekly) to progress the SGP. A vision statement with aims and objectives has been produced and consulted on, and a draft SGP is scheduled to be published in autumn 2017.

Over the last monitoring year under the Duty, a MoU has been published alongside HEDNA by the Leicester and Leicestershire authorities and it is an important part of the evidence base for the council's Local Plan.

A detailed Duty to Cooperate statement as well as links to our evidence base can be found our website – www.meltonplan.co.uk