Last edited 29 Oct 2020

Supplementary planning document SPD

Local Plans are prepared by one or more district planning authorities, setting 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.

Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) build upon and provide more detailed guidance about policies in the Local Plan. Legally, they do not form part of the Local Plan itself and they are not subject to independent examination, but they are material considerations in determining planning applications. Supplementary Planning Documents should only be prepared where they are necessary.

Paragraph 153 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) says, ‘Supplementary planning documents should be used where they can help applicants make successful applications or aid infrastructure delivery, and should not be used to add unnecessarily to the financial burdens on development’.

The requirements for producing Supplementary Planning Documents are set out in Regulations 11 to 16 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. In some circumstances a Strategic Environmental Assessment may be required when producing a Supplementary Planning Document.

Examples of Supplementary Planning Documents might include:

Supplementary Planning Documents might also be prepared for specific areas.

Supplementary Planning Documents may have been referred to as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) prior to the introduction of Local Development Frameworks in 2012.

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