Statutory duty and the role of plans
What is the role of plans?
(For a taste of the Governments proposals to change these duties please see the ‘Planning for the Future‘ Consultation White Paper – August 2020)
The development plan is at the heart of the planning system with a requirement set in law that planning decisions must be taken in line with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Plans set out a vision and a framework for the future development of the area, addressing needs and opportunities in relation to housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure – as well as a basis for conserving and enhancing the natural and historic environment, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and achieving well designed places. It is essential that plans are in place and kept up to date.
Section 19(1B) – (1E) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 sets out that each local planning authority must identify their strategic priorities and have policies to address these in their development plan documents (taken as a whole).
The development plan for an area is made up of the combination of strategic policies (which address the priorities for an area) and non-strategic policies (which deal with more detailed matters). Paragraphs 17 to 19 of the National Planning Policy Framework describe the plan-making framework which allows flexibility in the way policies for the development and use of land are produced.
Paragraph: 001 Reference ID: 61-001-20190315
Revision date: 15 03 2019