When assessing planning applications, in addition to national policy contained within the National Planning Policy Framework (‘NPPF’), Councils use Local Plans (also called ‘Core Strategies’ or ‘Development Plans’) to decide if permission should be granted or not. Local Plans contain a Council’s overall strategic planning framework.
The policies are updated following public consultation where local people (including landowners, developers, and property professionals) can comment on the proposed policies.
Generally the Local Plan is the first part of a Council’s policy. Many Councils also have policies which look specifically at the sites which might be suitable for accommodating the development envisaged in the Local Plan.
In order to boost significantly the supply of housing in the country, Councils are required to demonstrate that there is enough land available in their area to deliver five years worth of housing. This is referred to as ‘housing land supply’ and if a Council has assessed the land in their area and cannot demonstrate a five year supply of suitable land available for housing to satisfy the identified local need, then an application for permission for housing within that Council area will stand a better chance of success.
The Community Infrastructure Levy (‘CIL’) is a charge which Councils can apply to new developments. The money is used to fund the infrastructure needs of the Council’s administrative area including transport, education, open space and recreational provision that cannot be funded by other means.
We summarise below the status and progress of various local councils in relation to the policies referred to above.