The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 introduced local development frameworks and regional spatial strategies to replace the previous system of county level structure plans, district level local plans, and unitary authority level unitary development plans. Rather confusingly the Localism Act 2011, and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) introduced in 2012, then reformed the plan preparation process again, replacing local development frameworks with the local plans and phasing out regional spatial strategies.
However, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act, made transitional provisions allowing old policies to be ‘saved’ for 3 years from the introduction of the Act on 28 September 2004. Beyond the transitional period, policies may be continue to be saved by direction of the Secretary of State, until they are replaced by an appropriate new policy in a development plan document.
In seeking direction for policies to be saved, local planning authorities must demonstrate that the development plan is up to date, that the policies reflect the vision and objectives of the development plan, that they are consistent with national planning policy and that it is not feasible or desirable to replace them.
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