Soft sand review - examination

Find out about the soft sand review of the Joint Minerals Local Plan.

Policy M2 of the Joint Minerals Local Plan (adopted in July 2018) requires us to undertake a review of the approach to planning for soft sand.

The review considers:

  • the supply and demand of soft sand during the plan period to 2033
  • how a steady and adequate supply will be maintained, including the need for site allocations.

The timetable for preparation of the review is set out in the Minerals and Waste Development Scheme.

Submission of draft soft sand review

West Sussex County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority published the Proposed submission draft (Regulation 19), soft sand review, of the Joint Minerals Local Plan on 6 January 2020 for a representations period that ended on 2 March 2020.

The Proposed submission draft, soft sand review, was submitted to the Secretary of State for examination on 17 April 2020. A Statement of Submission has been produced, setting out how documents are available for viewing.

Due to the closure of libraries and deposit points because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, hard copy documents have not been available to view in the usual way. All documents are available online in the examination document library below.

If you cannot access the documents electronically, hard copies can now be viewed at County Hall, Chichester and the South Downs Centre, Midhurst. This service is only available by appointment. To request an appointment, email You must include your contact information and tell us when you would like to view the documents. We will contact you to make arrangements.

In accordance with Regulation 22 of the Town and Country (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012, the soft sand review was published before submission to allow for representations on the plan’s ‘soundness’ and legal and procedural compliance. The representations have been collated and reviewed and a Regulation 22 consultation statement prepared and submitted alongside the review.

Examination of the draft soft sand review

Mr Brian Sims (BSc CEng MICE MRTPI) is the Planning Inspector conducting the examination to decide whether the soft sand review is considered ‘sound’. He has issued a guidance note and a schedule of matters for consideration. These are available to view in the examination document library below.

Public examination hearings are likely to take place by video link due to the current pandemic restrictions. The provisional date is during the week beginning 24 August 2020, in line with the Minerals and Waste Development Scheme. The inspector's guidance note can be found in the examination document library below.

We expect that adoption of the soft sand review will take place in December 2020 if the review is considered 'sound'. The Joint Minerals Local Plan would change as a result.

An independent programme officer has been appointed to guide the review through the examination and to act as a conduit to the planning inspector. Any queries about the public examination or hearing sessions should be directed to the programme officer:

Examination document library

An examination document library is now available and includes links to all the submission documents and background evidence. This is a living document and will be updated throughout the examination. It also includes detailed maps and aerial photographs of the three potential site allocations under the section ‘Council Documents’.

Last updated:
7 August 2020
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