Appended Report


Tests of Soundness


In assessing the issue of soundness, the appointed Planning Inspector will have due regard to the evidence accompanying the Plan and the representations submitted at the Deposit stage. 


The Local Planning Authority must comply with the preparation requirements, and ensure that the Plan meets the 3 tests of soundness. Each test has a series of questions which assist in indicating the matters that may be relevant under each test. The lists are neither exhaustive nor necessarily apply in every case.



Preparation Requirements:

• Has preparation complied with legal and regulatory procedural requirements?

(LDP Regulations, Community Involvement Scheme (CIS), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Regulations, Sustainability Appraisal (SA), Habitats Regulation Assessments (HRA) etc?)[1]



Soundness Tests:

Test 1: Does the plan fit? (i.e. is it clear that the LDP is consistent with other



• Does it have regard to national policy and Wales Spatial Plan (WSP)

• Does it have regard to Well-being Goals[2]

• Does it have regard the Welsh National Marine Plan

• Is it consistent with regional plans, strategies and utility programmes?

• Is it compatible with the plans of neighbouring authorities?

• Does it reflect the Single Integrated Plan (SIP) or the National Park Management Plan (NPMP)?


Test 2: Is the plan appropriate? (i.e. is the plan appropriate for the area in the light of the evidence?)


• Is it locally specific?

• Does it address the key issues?

• Is it supported by robust, proportionate and credible evidence?

• Can the rationale behind plan policies be demonstrated?

• Does it seek to meet assessed needs and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development?

• Are the vision and the strategy positive and sufficiently aspirational?

• Have the ‘real’ alternatives been properly considered?

• Is it logical, reasonable and balanced?

• Is it coherent and consistent?

• Is it clear and focused?


Test 3: Will the plan deliver (i.e. is it likely to be effective?)


• Will it be effective?

• Can it be implemented?

• Is there support from the relevant infrastructure providers both financially and in terms of meeting relevant timescales?

• Will development be viable?

• Can the sites allocated be delivered?

• Is the plan sufficiently flexible? Are there appropriate contingency provisions?

• Is it monitored effectively?’



[1] PINS examination guidance is available from the PINS website

[2] As set out within the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.