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Term Definition
Local Plan

A portfolio or folder of documents setting out the planning strategy for a local planning authority area. Since the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and until recently, this type of plan was known as a Local Development Framework. The Government now uses the simpler description ‘Local Plan’. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 replaced old-style local plans, structure plans and unitary development plans. The key difference between the pre- and post-2004 systems is that new-style local plans are really a ‘folder’ of Development Plan Documents (DPDs) and Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs), each addressing different issues. This is in contrast to the old-style plans which consisted of one Development Plan Document, supported by supplementary guidance.

The Local Plan identifies where future development should take place to meet local needs for homes, businesses, shops and other services, plus the infrastructure to support them. It also decides which areas should be protected from development because they are important to local people or have environmental or heritage qualities that should be conserved.

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