Before starting

Before starting

Each Local Authority prepares a Local Development Plan (LDP), setting out the proposals and policies for future development in their area based on economic, social and environmental considerations.

A Place Plan, prepared by local communities, can be a positive way to engage with plans for future development, adding your very local detail to your LDP.

A Place Plan can be adopted by the Local Authority as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG), giving it some teeth in the planning system, which means:

  • input from the local authority
  • a strong evidence base
  • a good level of community involvement

What can you address in a Place Plan?

A Place Plan as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) can address things related to land use, development and the built environment such as new housing, improving the town or village centre, building designs and local character, health and well-being, open spaces, local employment, local facilities… (these are just a few examples).

By preparing a Place Plan your community could for example:

  • set out local parameters for what you think should best happen on a site allocated for development in the LDP ….
  • or perhaps to find and promote a small development site not picked up by the higher level plan ….
  • or perhaps to suggest detailed, locally sensitive design guidance for the local area….

What you put in your Place Plan will depend on various factors, including what is already covered in the LDP, the nature of the area in question and the community’s aspirations.

Your Place Plan could be wide-ranging or deal with one or two issues only. It could be detailed or thematic (simply setting general principles for development).

The choice will be down to your local community and your plan. But a word of caution, because a Place Plan as SPG is not, strictly speaking, for addressing things that are not planning related.  For example, SPG cannot usually include initiatives to improve safety and reduce crime.


The benefits for you of producing a Place Plan

Here are some benefits to help you decide whether or not to prepare a Place Plan:

  • Place Plans are led by local community organisations. They are a way for you to establish the important development issues for your community and agree ways to address those in the future.
  • A Place Plan enables positive and proactive input into the local planning system, offering you more influence over planning decisions for your local area.
  • The evidence and information which underpins your Place Plan can be used to secure funding for identified actions and projects.
  • It is a way of improving the working relationship between you and your local authority (and possibly other service providers).

Some larger community and town councils are legally required to demonstrate how local objectives included in the Local Well-being Plan for their area are being met.  Your Place Plan could be used as one way of showing how the policies it’s putting forward also meet the well-being objectives in a Local Well-being Plan.


However, it does not have to be either/or!  

A Place Plan could cover a whole range of issues, with a distinct section on land use related matters (the SPG element that links to the Local Development Plan) AND a section on practical action projects on anything else you value. The approach will be different for each community and local authority. The key thing to do is to talk to your local authority to decide how to best to produce your Place Plan for your place, your community and your issues.

Now you know all this, go to the Making the Decision page to check if a Place Plan is right for you.