A new timetable has been laid out for preparation of the Northumberland Local Plan – the key planning policies for the county up to 2036.
Northumberland County Council’s cabinet will consider a report next week (23rd November) which sets out the stages of a comprehensive review of previous proposals, and how a new plan will be submitted to Government by summer 2019.
This will be a Local Plan which will include far more detailed planning policies than would have been provided in the now withdrawn Core Strategy Local Plan, allowing for a consistent set of planning policies right across Northumberland.
The council’s local development framework member working group has considered the options available for preparation of the plan – and the cabinet will be recommended to agree that all elements of the plan should be developed together, rather than the previous process of a Core Strategy first, followed by a detailed policies document afterwards.
Plan preparation will follow a comprehensive review and update of the evidence contained within the previous Core Strategy, which was withdrawn by the new council in July this year, with the timescales set out in a revised Local Development Scheme.
This approach is based on new and developing national policy and guidance, and will allow for consideration of the Government’s proposed methodology for calculating local housing need, which was subject to consultation earlier this month.
The plan will be submitted to Government for examination by Summer 2019 and, following examination, will be adopted by Summer 2020, with periods of public consultation throughout the process.
A formal position statement by the council following withdrawal of the previous draft Core Strategy, and a Five-Year Housing Land Supply document, are also set to be agreed by the cabinet.
The Five-Year Housing Land Supply document demonstrates that the County has sufficient housing land to meet needs over the next five years, and will strengthen the existing planning policy framework that forms the basis for the determination of planning applications up to the point when a Local Plan is agreed.
In addition to this, the development of further Neighbourhood Plans continues to add further local detailed planning policy coverage across the county. The most recent being the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan, which is being recommended to be formally ‘made’ at the cabinet meeting on 23rd.
Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and Resilience, said: “We are committed to providing a sustainable and prosperous future for our county as we work on the Local Plan.
“This is an extremely detailed and comprehensive piece of work which will detail our planning policies for the next 20 years and it is imperative we get it right.”