Decision details

Procurement Framework for the Local Plan Review

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


To report the outcome of evaluation of tendering for a Framework contract for the supply of professional services to the Local Plan Review and related work.




The Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder presented a report on the procurement framework for the Local Plan review. He explained that the Local Plan, and its supporting documents were important and it was crucial to produce them in a timely manner.


The Portfolio Holder added that the procurement framework was to enable the prompt securing of professional support in producing the Local Plan and that the tender process had concluded in December 2020, the results of the process were set out in the Part II Appendices.


The Portfolio Holder concluded his report by emphasising the importance of the Local Plan in achieving social and economic wellbeing for residents. He added that the Local Plan was a living document that currently ran up to 2040 and due to its importance, it was good practice to seek additional professional advice.


The Leader asked the meeting if the motion was agreed. There was no dissent.






(1)   entering into a framework agreement with the preferred tenderers listed in appendix 1, from 2020/21 to 2023/24 to provide a range of professional advice and support for the Local Plan Review, and related work be approved; and


(2)   the use of the framework agreement for any studies procured jointly with neighbouring or other local authorities be approved.


Reasons for Decision


Progressing a review of the Local Plan is a high priority in the Council Plan 2019-24, including helping meet communities’ needs for housing, employment and a wide range of other services and amenities. Procuring a framework agreement with retained consultants will make an important contribution to obtaining the range of external professional advice needed to prepare the Plan.


Alternation Options Considered and Rejected


There are three alternatives to procuring the professional services of consultants through a framework agreement – firstly, procuring advice and studies on a separate, individual basis; secondly using the NEPO (North East Procurement Organisation) framework through Bloom; or thirdly using the procurement framework provided by Homes England, which is available for use by other public bodies, including local authorities. When the Council has procured a framework agreement, it would still be open to it to use these alternatives.


The main disadvantage of procuring advice and studies on an individual basis, is the additional time that it would take to procure these separately, with a resulting impact on the overall Local Plan Review programme.


The disadvantages of using the NEPO framework through Bloom are that prices are likely to be 5% higher to cover Bloom’s service charge and some previous experience of delays.


The Homes England Framework is already available for use but does not cover the

full range of services required for the Local Plan Review and related work. It also

tends to comprise larger national consultancies. The proposed Framework provides

more opportunity for local and regional suppliers.

Report author: Alastair McNeill

Publication date: 05/02/2021

Date of decision: 03/02/2021

Decided at meeting: 03/02/2021 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: