What Will the New Priorities be for Local Plans?
The 'Planning for the Future' White Paper proposes that Local Plans will be required to be more focused on identifying site and area specific requirements (including through zoning), alongside locally produced design codes.
Local Plans should be significantly shorter than under the current system with a core set of standards and requirements for development rather than policies. They should be 'visual and map-based, standardised, based on the latest digital technology, and supported by a new standard template'. Maps should be interactive with the aim of crating a strategic national map.
Local planning authorities would still be able to draw up spatially-specific policies, such as in identifying important views, opportunities to improve public access or places where renewable energy or woodland and forestry creation could be accommodated.
Local Plans would need to clearly identify appropriate levels of, and locations for, development to provide certainty with greater engagement of the community in the plan-making process and greater use of technology.
Sites should not be included for development where there is no reasonable prospect of any infrastructure that may be needed coming forward within the plan period.