Decision details

The Sheffield Plan - Joint Duty to Co-operate & Statement of Common Ground

Decision Maker: Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


Local planning authorities have a statutory “duty to cooperate” with other relevant bodies in order to encourage and enable strategic planning.


In preparing their draft Local Plan, Sheffield City Council have identified numerous strategic and cross boundary matters on which agreement is sought with Rotherham and a number of other Councils.


As a result, Sheffield City Council have prepared Statement of Common Ground to support submission of its draft Local Plan for examination on:

-       Sheffield City Council draft Local Plan

-       Local authority obligations under the Duty to Co-operate


There are some implications for Rotherham arising from the Statement which will be detailed in the report.


Being a signatory to the Statement will benefit Rotherham in demonstrating how the Council has cooperated on strategic issues and identifies outstanding areas of disagreement.


The recommendation is that delegation is given to the Assistant Director for Planning, Regeneration and Transport to be a signatory on behalf of the Council to the Sheffield City Council draft Local Plan Statement of Common Ground.





Date of Decision:

4th March 2024

Decision Maker:

(Including Job Title)

Simon Moss

Assistant Director – Planning, Regeneration and Transport

Specific Delegation:

(If any)

Assistant Director – Planning, Regeneration and Transport Head of Planning and Building Control / Planning Policy Manager


To agree any statements of common ground, memorandums of understanding or other formal statements regarding the Rotherham local plan or other local planning authorities’ local plans. Agreements to be made in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member.


Brief Description of Decision:

That the Council be a signatory to the Sheffield Plan – Joint Statement of Common Ground.


Reasons for the Decision:



In preparing their Local Plan, Sheffield City Council has identified a number of strategic and cross boundary issues on which agreement is sought. Rotherham officers have input to the draft Statement at various stages and are content with the wording. The majority of these agreements have no significant implications for Rotherham. However, the Council has set out a remaining area of disagreement in the Statement concerning the logistics study supporting Sheffield’s Plan and potential pressure on land supply within Rotherham for larger B8 uses. It is anticipated that the inspector examining Sheffield’s plan in due course will consider areas of disagreement in more detail as part of the examination.


Details of alternative options considered and rejected:


An alternative option is that the Council does not sign the Joint Statement of Common Ground. This may be detrimental to ongoing co-operation with Sheffield City Council, including the ability for the Council to negotiate and prepare its own Statement of Common Ground to support the partial update of the Core Strategy. Being a signatory to the Statement would be of significant benefit to the Council in demonstrating to the planning inspector an active engagement in strategic planning across the city region. Meeting the duty to cooperate is a statutory requirement, if the inspector deems it has not been met a local plan examination cannot continue. The duty cannot be met retrospectively. It is therefore advisable that the Council does all it can to meet the duty in the preliminary stages of the Local Plan Core Strategy partial update prior to submitting the plan for examination.


Conflicts of interest declared by any Executive Member consulted by the decision maker which relates to the decision:


Dispensations Granted:

(If any)


Reports or parts of reports considered

Delegated Decision Report: Sheffield Plan – Joint Statement of Common Ground


I certify that this is a true record of the executive decision in relation to the Sheffield Plan – Joint Statement of Common Ground.




Signed by the Decision Maker                                    

Dated: 4th March, 2024

Name: Simon Moss

Job Title: Assistant Director, Planning, Regeneration & Transport


Publication date: 09/04/2024

Date of decision: 04/03/2024

Accompanying Documents: