They address needs and opportunities in relation to the economy, housing, community facilities and infrastructure as well as provide a basis for safeguarding the environment, adapting to climate change and securing good design.
Local plans set out what is intended to happen in the area over the life of the plan, where and when this will occur and how it will be delivered. They can include:
- broad locations for development and specific allocations of land for different purposes
- designations showing areas where particular opportunities or considerations apply eg Green Belt, protected habitats, Enterprise Zones
- criteria-based policies which, together with policies in any neighbourhood plans, act as the start point for considering whether planning applications should be approved.
Local plans must be justified, effective, consistent with national policy and positively prepared to deliver sustainable development that meets objectively assessed development and infrastructure needs of the area, including any unmet needs of neighbouring areas. Hence, submitted Local Plans are assessed by an Independent Examiner before it can be adopted
They are drawn up in consultation with local communities, businesses, infrastructure providers and other interested parties.
District councils are working on their local plans. Details can be found on their websites: