The purpose of the plan preparation stage is to establish what is required of the new plan, the key issues to be addressed and the options for addressing them. This is undertaken using a topic based approach which will address particular issues relevant to the Council area.
This stage includes preparation of the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and the Timetable for the Local Development Plan. Position Papers (subject to review) set out the evidence base and will assist in the preparation of the Preferred Options Paper. The Position Papers are as follows:
- Population and Growth
- Housing and Settlements
- Employment and Economic Development
- Retailing, Offices and Town Centres
- Telecommunications Public Services and Utilities
- Built Heritage
- Natural Heritage
- Countryside Assessment
- Development Constraints (Flood risk, Drainage and Minerals)
- Open Space, Sport and Outdoor Recreation
- Waste Management
- Education, Health, Community & Cultural Facilities
The Preferred Options Paper will set out the key plan issues along with the Council’s preferred options. It will be a public consultation document which will promote debate on issues of strategic significance likely to influence the shape of future development within the Council area.
Stage 2 – Preparation and Adoption of the Plan Strategy
This stage will set out the Council’s objectives and strategic policies regarding the future development of the area. The Council will prepare a draft Plan Strategy for consultation based on all information previously gathered and the public responses to the Preferred Options Paper.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) will appoint the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) or other independent examiners to hold the Independent Examination which will examine the draft Plan Strategy against soundness tests that relate to how the Plan Strategy has been produced, and how it has taken account of regional policy and also its coherence, consistency and effectiveness. Following the independent examination, a report will be issued to the DfI who will consider and issue a binding report to the Council. The Council must incorporate any changes outlined in the binding report before adopting the Plan Strategy which will be placed on the Council’s website along with any supporting documents.
Stage 3 – Preparation and Adoption of the Local Policies Plan
The Local Policies Plan is the second part of the Local Development Plan document. It will be consistent with the adopted Plan Strategy and will provide detailed policies and proposals regarding the future development of the Council area. The draft Local Policies Plan will be a public consultation document and will form part of the public participation process.
The process for the Local Policies Plan will follow the same steps as those carried out for the Plan Strategy. This will include preparing the draft Local Policies Plan, publishing it for consultation and making all representations / counter-representations available for inspection prior to Independent Examination. The Local Policies Plan and any supporting documents will be placed on the Council’s website.
Stage 4 – Monitoring and Review
The final stage in the Local Development Plan process involves monitoring and review which are essential in order to establish how the objectives of the plan have been achieved and whether any changes are necessary. The Council will provide regular reviews of the Local Development Plan, at least every 5 years from the date of adoption of the Local Policies Plan.