Local Development Framework
The planning system regulates the development and the use of land in the public interest. In the early 1990s the Government introduced the concept of the “plan-led” planning system. It became compulsory for planning authorities to prepare Development Plans and the requirement was introduced that planning applications are to be determined in accordance with the Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 introduced major changes to the planning system with the aim of making the plan preparation process fairer and more flexible. One of the changes was the requirement for Local Planning Authorities to prepare a new style Development Plan called a Local Development Framework (LDF).
The LDF essentially is a set of documents which will guide new development in the National Park. It forms a part of a hierarchy of planning policy documents, taking into account national planning policy and guidance and being in general conformity with regional planning policy. Policies within the LDF will also need to have clear links with the National Park Management Plan.
The Northumberland National Park LDF contains five types of document:
- The Statement of Community Involvement sets out how the Authority will achieve continuous community involvement in the plan-making process and in the development control process.
- Documents which contain policies are known as Development Plan Documents. As they contain policies, they are subject to significant community consultation and to testing by an Independent Inspector. Northumberland National Park LDF contains one Development Plan Document, the Core Strategy and Development Policies Document.
- Documents which expand on policies and provide more detail are known as Supplementary Planning Documents. They do not require examination by an Independent Inspector, but are subject to community involvement. These documents will be material considerations in the determination of planning applications. The Northumberland National Park LDF contains five Supplementary Planning Documents: Building Design Guide; Landscape; Biodiversity and Geodiversity; Cultural Heritage; and Tranquillity;
- All Development Plan Documents and Supplementary Planning Documents are subject to a Sustainability Appraisal, which tests the environmental, social, and economic effects of policies to ensure sustainability;
- Project management documents – the Local Development Scheme and Annual Monitoring Reports. Annual Monitoring Reports assess the extent to which Development Plan policies are being successfully implemented, monitors the timetable for the preparation of the LDF, and identifies areas where new or revised policies may be required.
If you would like to be involved in the preparation of any element of the LDF please contact us for more information.