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What Local Plans can and cannot do

Local Plans set out the broad strategy for development in your area. They cannot tell you exactly what changes will happen in each neighbourhood.

Local Plans can:

  • Identify where development should take place, and when it should happen during the life of the plan.
  • Decide the broad type of development that should be provided to meet local needs (e.g. housing, business, leisure, essential infrastructure).
  • Mediate between competing demands for different land uses.
  • Promote regeneration of town centres, derelict land or other areas.
  • Protect special areas of the countryside and important buildings.
  • Reduce risks to human health and well-being (e.g. from flooding).
  • Help reduce our contribution to climate change and ensure new development is adapted to a changing climate.
  • Reduce the need to travel by providing land for homes, schools, shops and businesses close together.
  • Be flexible, to suit changing needs of business and communities.

Local Plans cannot:

  • Ensure developments go ahead once planning permission is granted - this is decided by developers (and influenced by economic conditions).
  • Decide in detail which type of shops or businesses are provided (unless there are good reasons to do so).
  • Prevent a particular company or person from developing a site.
  • Stop businesses, schools or hospitals from closing.
  • Decide the quality and frequency of public transport services.
  • Please everyone, all of the time.

Further reading

Local Plans - getting involved

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