New regulations setting out how local councils should prepare development plans and associated documents have been proposed by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The current regulations on plan preparation are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations 2004, as amended.
The Government proposes to revise these regulations in response to reforms set out in the Localism Bill; to consolidate changes made to the 2004 regulations into a single document and to ensure the regulations are as effective and simple as possible.
Among the changes proposed is a simple definition of development plan documents, without referring to complex ‘local development framework’ terminology such as ‘core strategy’ or ‘area action plan’, which made the process confusing for the public and business and inflexible for councils.
This is designed to allow councils to decide what they want to include in their development plan documents and review policy more quickly.
The revised regime – now out for consultation - would also remove the current regulations on local development schemes, giving councils the freedom to report the information that they think most relevant to local people, while maintaining the requirement to keep the public informed about the status of planning documents, as set out in the Bill.
28 July 2011