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Local Plan

Information on the Local Plan (formerly the Local Development Framework)

What is the Local Plan?

The new Local Plan for the Lancaster district will set out how planning applications should be decided, identify areas for development and areas which should be protected from development because of their environmental, social and/or economic value.

It will be made up of five documents:

These documents will form the new Local Plan and replace the current policies in the Lancaster District Local Plan (adpoted in 2004) and the Lancaster District Core Strategy (adopted in 2008).

How does the council know what it needs to plan for? 

The council must follow the advice on planning given by the government. This says that councils should positively seek opportunities to meet the development needs of their area.

The council continuously gathers information and also monitors the development that takes place in order to identify the development needs of the area.

One of the main things that a Local Plan has to do is to make sure that there are enough homes to meet the needs of a growing population. The council prepares a housing requirements study that establishes how many new homes are needed in the district for at least 15 years after the date that the plan will be completed.

The council then calculates how many new homes can be built on sites that already have planning permission and then uses the local plan to identify enough new sites, in addition to those that we already know about, to satisfy the total requirement for new housing. Much the same happens with land for employment, shopping and recreation. 

Who approves the local plan documents?

Preparing the Local Plan is the responsibility of the city council. Local Plan documents take a number of years to prepare. During preparation the council’s officers engage with the community and consult on the emerging plan.

Whilst it is your council’s responsibility to prepare the Local Plan there is also independent examination. When the council is content that a plan document is complete it publishes the document and anyone can then comment on the soundness of the published plan.

The council then sends the published plan document, the supporting evidence and all the comments and representations it has received to the Planning Inspectorate, who appoint an inspector to carry out an independent examination.

This involves local hearing sessions when the inspector invites some of the people who have made representations to a discussion session. After these hearing sessions the inspector sends a report to the council stating whether or not the plan has been properly prepared.

If the inspector is happy that the plan is sound then the council can adopt the plan, usually with some changes that he has recommended. If the inspector does not think that a plan document has been properly prepared then the council will have to prepare a revised plan and try again.

What have we done so far?

The current plan requires updating and the council has been reviewing the evidence base and developing new local plan documents since 2010. We have made good progress on preparing the five documents which will form the new Local Plan and will continue to work on key parts, including the Land Allocations, during the course of 2014.

  • Adopted the Development Management Plan (planning policies) and Morecambe Area Action Plan Documents.
  • Reviewed a wide range of evidence including a new housing requirements study, a new housing land supply report and a retailing report.
  • Lots of consultation has taken place including discussion sessions, planning for real events and many drop-in events in towns and villages.
  • Many people and organisations have joined our online Planning Policy consultation list and receive information to let them know when consultation is taking place or an important stage has been reached.

Local Plan timetable

The council's Local Development Scheme provides more detail and a timetable for the preparation of the local plan documents.

The September 2015 Timetable can be downloaded here - Local Plan Development Scheme September 2015 (721kb)

 Local Plan newsletter

The August 2015 Local Plan newsletter can be downloaded here - Local Plan Newsletter August 2015 (4.4MB)

The May 2014 Local Plan newsletter can be viewed below or downloaded here - Local Plan Newsletter May 2014 (1.2MB)





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Feb 2018








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Lancaster City Council
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Dalton Square

Telephone: 01524 582 000

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