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What is a Local Plan?

A Local Plan is a plan for the future development of the local area. It covers matters such as the allocation of land for development, infrastructure requirements, the protection of the environment and measures to combat climate change. The plan has a 15 year timeframe but is revised every 5 years.

The plan is drawn up by the local planning authority in consultation with the community. The initial consultation is called ‘Regulation 18’. During this consultation people are able to comment on the draft Local Plan – these comments are called representations. The representations are considered by the local planning authority, they make modifications to the plan and then issue a finalised Local Plan, known as the ‘Regulation 19 document’.

The finalised Local Plan is published for a 6 week consultation known as ‘Regulation 20’. At the end of the consultation, the plan and the representations raised during the consultation are sent to the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate appoints an independent examiner to test the plan. If the plan passes the examination it can be formally adopted by the local planning authority and used to determine planning applications.