We are aware that not everyone received notification of the consultation on the Proposed Main Modifications. We therefore re-opened the consultation for a further six week period from Wednesday 24 May until Wednesday 5 July 2023. This consultation period has now ended and the responses received are available to view on the modifications responses page.

Following the Local Plan examination hearing sessions that took place between September 2022 and October 2022, we have now received notification from the Planning Inspectors examining the Local Plan that a number of changes to the Plan, known as ‘Main Modifications’ are considered necessary to address issues of ‘Soundness’.

The Main Modifications are put forward without prejudice to the Inspectors’ final conclusions on Warrington’s Local Plan and following the close of this consultation, the representations made will be passed to the Inspectors for their consideration, before the publication of their final report.

The Main Modifications have, where necessary, been subject to Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulation Assessment.

The original consultation ran for 6 weeks from Wednesday 15 March 2023 through to 5pm on Wednesday 26 April 2023.

We are aware that not everyone received notification of the consultation on the Proposed Main Modifications. We are therefore re-opening the consultation for a further six week period starting on Wednesday 24 May 2023 until 5pm on Wednesday 5 July 2023.

If you have already submitted representations on the Main Modifications following the previous consultation, there is no need to re-submit them. They have already been passed to the independent Planning Inspectors.

The consultation is only seeking views on the:

What are we consulting on now?

The main questions relate to whether the Local Plan Main Modifications recommended by the Inspectors comply with legal requirements and meet the tests of ‘Soundness’. These are the key issues that the independent inspector will consider when assessing the Local Plan Main Modifications.

The consultation specifically relates to Main Modifications only, it is not an opportunity to raise matters that either were, or could have been, part of the earlier representations or hearings on the submitted plan. Comments should focus on whether the proposed Main Modifications comply with the legal requirements and can be considered ‘Sound’.

Unlike other Local Plan consultations, given the focused nature of the Main Modifications consultation, there will be no in person consultation events held.

You can see the consultation material and progress on the local plan examination page.


Legal compliance

At the closing Local Plan hearing session on 6 October 2022 the inspectors’ confirmed that the council had complied with the legal requirement in relation to the Local Plan Duty to co-operate, with this being re-iterated in the Inspectors’ post hearing letter to the council on 16 December 2022.

The council is also required to comply with planning Legislation and Regulations, and to ensure that Local Plan policy development and or amendments, are supported by a Sustainability Appraisal and Habitat Regulations Assessment, where necessary, and subject to further public consultation.   


In their post hearing letter to the council on 16 December 2022, the inspectors concluded that the submitted Local Plan as examined, was not ‘Sound’ as it stands. However, the Inspectors considered that the plan could be made ‘Sound’ by Main Modifications and that such Main Modifications need to be subject to consultation and Sustainability Appraisal and Habitat Regulations Assessment, where required. 

The tests of soundness are set out in paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). 

Plans are ‘Sound’ if they are:

  • Positively prepared – providing a strategy which, as a minimum seeks to meet the area’s objectively assessed needs, and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring authorities is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development;
  • Justified – an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence;
  • Effective - deliverable over the plan period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground; and
  • Consistent with national policy – enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the NPPF.
If you are seeking a change to a local plan Main Modification

If you wish to make a representation seeking a change to a Main Modification you should make it clear in what way the Main Modification has not met the legal requirement or is not ‘Sound’ having regard to the four ‘Soundness’ requirements set out above. Your representation should be supported by evidence wherever possible. 

It will be helpful if you also say precisely how you think the Main Modification should be modified. Representations should cover succinctly all the information, evidence and supporting information necessary to support/justify the representation and the suggested change to the Main Modification. There will not normally be a subsequent opportunity to make further submissions on Main Modifications.

In all instances, please quote the Main Modification reference number as referenced in the schedule of proposed Main Modifications when making a representation.

Submitting and making representations

Where groups or individuals share a common view on the Main Modifications, it would be very helpful if they would make a single representation which represents that view, rather than a large number of separate representations repeating the same points.  In such cases the group should indicate how many people it is representing and how the representation has been authorised.

The council encourages the use of the standard representation form, however; email and letter representations will also be accepted.

Data protection and confidentiality

We comply with all legislation governing the protection of personal information, including the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Any personal information you supply will remain strictly confidential and anonymous and will be held and used in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. We will only use your personal information for the purpose for which it has been given.

The information you provide will be kept secure and analysed by Warrington Borough Council. To read our Privacy Notice.

Your response together with your name will be available to view publicly when we report on the outcome of the consultation. All other personal information, such as your telephone number, street name and number and e-mail address will not be published. We may, however, be required to provide this information to the Planning Inspectorate to ensure that you can be contacted, if required.

Representations can be made by:

  • Standard representation form
  • Email to localplan@warrington.gov.uk
  • Writing to: Local Plan, Planning Policy and Programmes, Growth Directorate, Warrington Borough Council, East Annexe, Town Hall, Sankey Street, Warrington, WA1 1HU.
  • Hand delivery to the reception at the council’s Time Square offices from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday

All representations must be received by the council no later than 5pm on Wednesday 5 July 2023. Late representations will not be accepted by the council, but they will be brought to the attention of the Inspectors.

At the close of the consultation, the representations made will be passed to the independent planning inspectors for their consideration.

Completing the online representation form

The fields marked ‘required’ must be completed or you will be unable to progress and submit you representation using the standard online response form.

Depending on the nature and length of you representation, based on the data limits set out in the form, it might be that it is more appropriate to submit one representation for each separate Main Modification representation. 

Customer 'About You' questionnaire

We are committed to ensuring our services are provided fairly and are accessible to those who need them. To help us meet this commitment, we ask all customers to complete an equality and diversity monitoring form.

The reason why we ask you these questions is so we can:

  • Make our council services open to everyone in Warrington
  • Treat everyone fairly and appropriately when they use our services
  • In consultations, make sure that we have views from all across Warrington
  • The Equality Act 2010 makes these aims part of our legal duties. Your answers help us check that we have met the law and help improve our services.

The monitoring questions are optional. You do not need to answer any of the questions if you do not wish to, and you will not be affected in any way if you choose not to answer any, or some, of the questions. Questions have ‘prefer not to say’ as a response option.

Submitting a response

You will receive an automated response once your representation has been submitted via a standard electronic response form.

Should you encounter any problems accessing or completing the online representation form please contact us on:

Email: localplan@warrington.gov.uk

Telephone: 01925 442826

Other formats

We will be making paper copies of the consultation documents and standard response form available in all the Libraries across the Borough, as well as at the council’s Time Square office. Copies can also be sent out if you call the Planning Policy & Programmes Team on 01925 442826.

The questions on the paper form are the same as the online form (see above guidance).

An editable PDF of the response form is also available from the council on request.

If you require the any of the documents in another language or format, including:

  • Large print
  • Braille
  • Audio
  • British Sign Language 

or simply require assistance in completing the response form, please call 01925 442826 or email localplan@warrington.gov.uk

All paper and PDF forms will need to be returned to:

  • Email to localplan@warrington.gov.uk
  • Post to Local Plan, Planning Policy and Programmes, Warrington Borough Council, East annexe Town Hall, Sankey Street, Warrington, WA1 1UH
  • Hand delivered to the council’s Time Square office reception, between the hours of 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday

Further Information

If you have any questions regarding the consultation or would like any other information, please contact the Planning Policy and Programmes Team by:

10 July 2023