On 9 November 2011 the council adopted The Local Development Framework Joint Core Strategy and Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (LDF DPD) which supersedes the majority of the 2006 Unitary Development Plan (UDP) policies.
The LDF DPD includes details on the status of UDP policies, and the UDP Proposals Map has been superseded by the LDF Proposals Map, with the exception of some saved UDP policies.
The development of land can be a controversial issue, depending upon what the proposed development is and where it is to take place. It can affect anyone in the Borough either directly or indirectly, for example by providing new homes or jobs for residents, changing the face of a neighbourhood or village, or changing how people may make some journeys.
Decisions about whether to allow proposals to build on land or change its use are usually made by the Council as local planning authority. To guide these decisions, the Council has a Unitary Development Plan (UDP) that sets out its policies and proposals for the development and use of land in the area over a ten year period. The Unitary Development Plan identifies the sites in the Borough where it is proposed to permit housing, employment and shopping developments, amongst others, to take place.
The Unitary Development Plan is about land use in the Borough so has limited scope to directly influence other matters, such as the frequency of bus services or the provision of many community facilities or services.
Its parameters, in terms of what it is expected or allowed to contain policies about and broadly what they should be, are set by:
- National planning policy contained in Planning Policy Guidance Notes, which number 25 and cover topics ranging from housing to renewable energy; and
- Regional policy as contained in Regional Planning Guidance Note 13 for the North West, March 2003.
This means that the Council does not have a completely free hand in preparing or changing the plan. It is our job to interpret the national and regional guidance and, with the help of the community, to translate it into something which fits our local circumstances. The explanation of the policies in the Plan indicates how this wider planning framework has been taken into account in its preparation.
The UDP was formally adopted on the 14th July 2006 and now supersedes the previous Unitary Development Plan that was adopted in April 1996.
The UDP took effect from this date and is part of the statutory Development Plan for the Borough.
It provides the framework for all new developments and will be used to inform decisions relating to the determination of planning applications. To guide these decisions the UDP sets out policies and proposals for the development and use of land in the Borough. The UDP identifies the sites in the Borough where it is proposed to permit housing, employment and shopping developments, amongst others, to take place.
The council applied to the Secretary of State under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to extend the life of the 'saved' UDP policies until such time as they are replaced by the Local Development Framework.
The UDP, along with RSS, will continue to form the basis on which planning applications are determined by the council.