This page shows in outline how we create local planning policy, and the important role that consultation has in this process.
We make decisions on planning applications using national and local planning policy. National policy is statutory, or written into law, while local policy is a mix of statutory and non-statutory elements.
The three elements of local planning policy
Core statutory documents, which together make the Development Plan for our area (DPDs), and will apply to all new development proposals.
Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs), which refer to particular topics within local planning, such as agricultural building, sustainability, archaeology or listed buildings. These documents are non-statutory, but we can use them as a basis to assess planning applications.
Informal guidance notes, which may be useful to assist in developing your proposal, but which we won't use on their own as a justification for granting or refusing a planning permission.
As a Local Planning Authority, we are responsible for developing, monitoring and reviewing the local policy for our area. There are lots of opportunities to influence planning policy development, as well as other important local issues, through the process of consultation. At any one time, we are usually running several public consultations, to give local people a chance to understand and take part in local decision making.
How we develop policy documents
The chart below shows a summary of how we create Development Plan documents (DPDs), the most important local policy documents for future development and deciding planning applications, and the opportunities for you to have your say.
For more detail on how you can be involved in the development of policy, and how we run the stages of the process, view our Neighbourhood Planning Protocol.
Process for SPDs and informal planning guidance notes
We follow a shorter, fast-track process for the adoption of SPDs and other planning policy guidance, as follows:
- First, we have an informal consultation and evidence gathering phase. We will consult statutory consultees and the public, using the same methods as for DPDs at stage 3, above.
- We then have a formal consultation period of a minimum of four weeks. We will publish a report on the feedback from the informal consultation, and our responses to issues raised.
- We will then formally adopt the SPD or guidance note. We will notify anyone who made written comments on the document or expressed an interest, so they can review the final version of the document.