1.1 Part 2 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) establishes the current system of local development planning in England (The Planning Act 2008 then the Localism Act 2011 made a number of amendments to part 2 of the 2004 Act. The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 set out the current system of plan making.). As part of this system, the local planning authority must prepare and maintain a Local Development Scheme (LDS), which sets out a list of the planning documents it intends to prepare in the forthcoming years and the timetable for the preparation of those documents.

1.2 Planning documents within this LDS are classified as development plan documents (referred to as local plans). Local plans are documents which:

  • Are prepared by a local planning authority individually or in cooperation with one or more other local planning authorities which contains statements regarding one or more of the following:
  • Set out the amount of development and use of land which the local planning authority wish to encourage during any specific period;
  • Allocate sites for a particular type of development or use;
  • Include development management and site allocation policies, which are intended to guide the determination of applications for planning permission.

1.3 A local planning authority can also prepare other plans that complement the local plan including for example, Area Action Plans (to cover a specific geographical part of the local authority area) or specific plans for particular allocations or policy matters not covered by the local plan.

1.4 Regulations require local authorities to review local plans and their Statements of Community Involvement at least every five years from the date of their adoption. Local Authorities will need to carry out an assessment of whether a Local Plan or Statement of Community Involvement remains relevant and effectively addresses the needs of the local community, or whether policies need updating. Having carried out this assessment authorities must decide:

  • that one or more policies do need updating, and update their Local Development Scheme to set out the timetable for updating their plan, and then update their plan; or
  • that their policies do not need updating, and publish their reasons for this decision.

1.5 The LDS should be kept up to date and was last reviewed in January 2020 to cover the period 2020-2023 and acknowledged the need to prepare a revised Local Plan. It set out the timetable involved in the Plan’s preparation.

1.6 This July 2021 review of the LDS includes an updated timetable for production of the new Local Plan in addition to information regarding the Council’s commitment to the preparation of a Statement of Common Ground to confirm the extent of joint working throughout the production of the new Local Plan.