12. The Examination will close when my report is submitted to the Council. The potential outcomes of the examination are that:
• the Plan is sound;
• the Plan is not sound but could be made sound by changes (known as ‘main modifications’), if necessary following additional work; or
• the Plan is not sound and could not be made sound by main modifications.
13. Any main modifications that I might recommend would be limited to those required to address matters of legal compliance or soundness. The main modifications would be subject to public consultation and, if necessary, sustainability appraisal and Habitats Regulation assessment prior to my report being finalised. The Council will also be able to make ‘additional modifications’ prior to adopting the submitted plan, provided that these do not materially alter the policies. These would be a matter for the Council and would be likely to include the correction of typographical errors and changes to supporting text consequential to any main modifications. I will not be considering such additional modifications during the Examination and they will not form part of my final report.
The hearing sessions
14. I have identified a number of Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQs) that need to be considered during the Examination. The hearing sessions will allow me to explore these further with the Council and other participants, taking into account relevant representations made and any additional statements which I request.
15. The sessions themselves will be informal discussions bringing in the Council and other participants as the session continues. Those participants indicating a desire to speak will be given the full opportunity to do so. The hearing sessions will be open to the public to observe but only invited participants will be able to speak.
16. Participation is only likely to be useful if you have specific points to contribute having regard to our issues and questions and which will assist me in determining the soundness of the Plan. Furthermore, in some hearing sessions others may hold similar views to your own and in that case it will be of assistance if representors were able to get together and be represented by one or two spokespersons. The assessment of soundness does not depend on the numbers speaking and there will be no merit in repeating verbally the views of others.
17. Organisations other than the Council wishing to appear at the hearing will be expected to be represented by one person only. Others may attend on the day in support but participation will normally be limited to a single