Local Development Plan
The Council has responsibility for preparing its own Local Development Plan (LDP). The LDP will guide the future use of land in the Council area and inform developers, members of the general public, communities, government, public bodies, representative organisations and other interests of the policy framework that is used to determine development proposals.
The LDP will take account of the Council’s Community Plan providing a spatial expression to the community plan and thereby linking public and private sector investment through the land use planning system.
There are 4 key stages of plan preparation.
- Stage 1: Initial Plan Preparation
- Stage 2: Preparation and Adoption of the Plan Strategy
- Stage 3: Preparation and Adoption of the Local Policies Plan
- Stage 4: Monitoring and Review
As part of Stage 1, background research and evidence gathering for the new Local Development Plan has already commenced with the production of a series of position papers on a range of topic areas such as population and growth, housing and economic development. These papers are available through the links adjacent.
The list will be added to as further papers are produced and presented to the Planning Committee. The papers will also be regularly reviewed to ensure that they remain up to date.
The preparation of a new Local Development Plan provides an opportunity to get involved in shaping the future development of the area. There are a number of occasions through the plan preparation process where public consultation is undertaken. These will be set out in the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). It will be followed by publication of a Timetable for the production of the Plan.
Stage 1: Initial Plan Preparation
This stage includes the development of the evidence base, preparation of the Timetable and Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and the production of the Preferred Options Paper (POP). The SCI will promote a more meaningful and effective approach to enable interested parties and the local community to engage early in the plan process and throughout its preparation. Before the Council can consult on its Preferred Options Paper, it must have an agreed SCI in place in order to inform the general public and all stakeholders of how, where and when they can become involved in the local development plan preparation process.
In preparing a POP, the Council must undertake the initial stages of Sustainability Appraisal (SA). The SA is a continual process which runs parallel with the preparation of the POP and Local Development Plan (LDP). An SA Interim Report (consisting of SA Scoping Report and assessment of alternatives) will be published with the POP. The POP will indicate the Council’s preferred options for growth and development in their area and will be the basis for consulting with the public and stakeholders. At this stage in the process, interested parties will have an opportunity to put forward views and influence the local development plan from the outset.
Stage 2: Preparation and Adoption of the Plan Strategy
This stage of the local development plan preparation process consists of the preparation and publication of the draft Plan Strategy which will be independently examined prior to adoption. The Council will prepare a draft Plan Strategy based on both the information gathered and also the public and stakeholders responses to the preferred options paper. As part of this process, the Council will also carry out a range of assessments including Sustainability Appraisal (SA), Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA), Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and Rural Proofing. The Council will then publish their draft Plan Strategy, SA and other assessments for public consultation.
The Department will appoint the PAC or other independent examiners to hold the Independent Examination (IE). The IE will examine the Draft Plan Strategy against soundness tests which will relate to how the Plan Strategy has been produced, and how it has taken account of central government plans, policy and guidance, and also its coherence, consistency and effectiveness. Following the IE, the examiner will issue a report of its findings to the Department which will in turn consider this and issue a binding report to the Council. On this basis, the Council must incorporate any changes outlined in the binding report and subsequently adopt the Plan Strategy.
Stage 3: Preparation and Adoption of the Local Policies Plan
The Local Policies Plan must be consistent with the adopted Plan Strategy and incorporate detailed site specific proposals for the plan area. The Plan Strategy must be adopted before the draft Local Policies Plan is published for consultation, subjected to IE and adopted. The process for the preparation of the Local Policies Plan is largely similar to that of the Plan Strategy outlined above. The draft Local Policies Plan and associated assessments will also be published for public consultation. Following this, the process for IE and adoption of the Local Policies Plan will be similar to that of the Plan Strategy
Stage 4: Monitoring and Review
The final stage in the local development plan preparation process is monitoring and review which are essential in establishing how the objectives in the local development plan are being achieved and whether any changes are required. This will include the preparation of an annual monitoring report which specifies the amount of housing and economic land, the number of housing completions and any other relevant information regarding the implementation of the local development plan. The annual monitoring report must also be submitted to the Department. The Council will also be required to undertake regular reviews of their local development plan at least every 5 years from the date of adoption of the Local Policies Plan and submit its findings to the Department.