Development plan documents DPD
Local Plans are prepared by local planning authorities. They set out a framework for the future development of an area on a 15-year horizon. They define; the priorities for an area, strategic policies, the framework for neighbourhood plans, land allocations, infrastructure requirements, housing needs, requirements for safeguarding the environment, measures for adapting to climate change and so on. Local plans are also the starting-point for considering whether planning applications should be approved.
The Local Plan consists of a number of Development Plan Documents (DPD) which set out the spatial planning policies for the local authority area. Development Plan Documents were introduced by reforms to the planning system under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, to create more flexible local planning policy that was easier to change.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) defines Local Plans as, ‘The plan for the future development of the local area, drawn up by the local planning authority in consultation with the community. In law this is described as the development plan documents adopted under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Current core strategies or other planning policies, which under the regulations would be considered to be development plan documents, form part of the Local Plan. The term includes old policies which have been saved under the 2004 Act.’
The local authority must set out the programme for preparing Development Plan Document in a Local Development Scheme (LDS). Their preparation should involve all those with an interest in the documents, and they should also have the chance to comment on draft documents. Development Plan Documents are then inspected by an independent planning inspector to ensure they have been prepared legally and that they are ‘sound’, that is, they show good judgement and are able to be trusted.
The number and structure of Development Plan Documents is not prescribed by national policy and so may vary from one planning authority to another. The NPPF states, ‘Each local planning authority should produce a Local Plan for its area.... Any additional development plan documents should only be used where clearly justified.’
As a result, there may be very few Development Plan Documents, or they may include a range of documents such as:
- Core strategy.
- Site allocations.
- Area action plans.
- Proposals maps.
- Development management policies.
- Travelling communities site allocations.
- Planning obligations.
- Affordable housing.
Development Plan Documents are the statutory elements of the Local Plan. They may be supported by non-statutory Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) which provide further information and details to support the policies found in the Development Plan Documents.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Core strategy.
- Development management.
- Development plan.
- Duty to cooperate.
- Local development framework.
- Local development scheme.
- Local plan.
- London plan.
- Neighbourhood plan.
- Planning authorities.
- Planning permission.
- Saved policies.
- Statement of community involvement.
- Supplementary planning documents.
- The London Plan.
Featured articles and news
A mega-dome, a cenotaph for Newton, a bubble over New York - some of the most famous projects that were never realised.
One of the oldest and finest examples of Byzantine and Islamic architecture, the Dome of the Rock.
Have a look at our article explaining thermal comfort in buildings.
BRE's ethical labour sourcing standard and how it could help tackle modern slavery in the construction industry.
BSRIA publish mechanical and electrical maintenance customer satisfaction key performance indicators.
Have a look at our article on the history, practice and techniques of placemaking.
Have a look at the key recommendations from ICE's new report on the digital transformation of infrastructure.
The Gate of Europe, the world's first inclining high-rises, with a lean of 15-degrees.
Why engineers need to keep pace with the challenges and opportunities of the digital transformation of the infrastructure sector.
Have a read of our introductory article on fabric structures; their history, properties and characteristics, and more...
Growing connectivity and what it means for physical infrastructure, disruptive new tech and increasing interdependencies.
Foster & Partners selected as architectural team for new bridge crossings in Ipswich.