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Local plan update and supporting information

Local Plan update

We review the Local Plan at least every five years. In June 2020 we agreed to undertake a partial update for the Local Plan. The update focuses only on issues that need modification within the plan period (to 2031) and does not invite consultation and examination on matters beyond the plan period.

Work to partially update the Local Plan has resumed following a short pause (Cabinet voted 13 May 2021 agenda item 9). This was in light of the Government proposals to reform the existing planning system and to change the way that councils plan for new development and determine planning applications. For example, it included a proposal to significantly increase future local housing need and potentially growth in the District.

We published our response from these proposals in September 2020. For further information on the Government’s proposals please see Planning for the future White Paper and Changes to the current planning system consultation papers published in August 2020.

In February 2021, the Government published a revised housing need calculation and it confirmed that significantly higher levels of local housing growth are no longer proposed in the District during the 2020s. The new local housing need figure is roughly in line with historic rates.

Local Development Scheme

Now that we have clarity on how future local housing need is calculated, we can continue to partially update the Local Plan. A new project timetable was agreed by Cabinet in May 2021 and is set out in the Local Development Scheme (LDS)

The LDS sets out our work programme in relation to the main planning policy documents. These documents include the Local Plan (the Development Plan for the area) and associated documents, such as Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs).

The programme of work focusses on the next three years (2021-2024). It highlights how long it will take to prepare each document, when the public will be able to participate and when the final version of each document will be adopted.

Statement of Community Involvement

The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) explains how and when different groups, organisations and communities can get involved with the local planning applications and planning documents. It provides a framework for consultation and community engagement.

The current SCI was adopted on 2 November 2020 and replaces the 2014 edition. 

Duty to Cooperate

The National Planning Policy Framework states that public bodies have a ‘duty to cooperate’ on planning issues that cross administrative boundaries, particularly those which relate to the strategic priorities. The Government expects joint working on areas of common interest for the mutual benefit of neighbouring authorities.

We have published a ‘duty to cooperate statement of compliance’ report that sets out the strategic planning issues. The report also summarises the interactions we have had with relevant organisations and their outcomes.