About Local Plans

Each local planning authority must prepare a Local Plan that sets the planning policies in its local area. The Local Plan is important when deciding planning applications, as all decisions must be made in accordance with its policies, unless there are strong reasons not to do so. Local plans must be positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy, in accordance with section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) and the NPPF. Every local planning authority in England should have a clear, up-to-date Local Plan that conforms to the NPPF, meets local development needs and reflects local people’s views on how they wish their community to develop.

The National Planning Policy Guidance (NPPG) usefully discusses what Local Plans are and what the legislative background is for producing them. It also talks generally about what they should include at Plan-making - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).