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Planning policy

Local Plan Latest News...

February 2015: the Cornwall Local Plan: Strategic Policies document was submitted to the Secretary of State on Friday 6th February 2015. Examination pages have been prepared.

The planning system plays an important role in helping protect the environment in our towns and cities and in the countryside. The planning system in England and Wales follows a plan-led system, and in recent times this system was updated as part of the Localism Bill in 2011, which in turn led to the adoption of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The NPPF is the national planning policy document for England and Wales.  This national guidance is applied at a more local level by Councils (also known as Local Planning Authorities), who form area specific policies and proposals that reflect the broad guidance of the NPPF, but with more locally specific detail. In Cornwall the main policy document is the emerging Cornwall Local Plan, which aims to control and influence the use of land in the public interest by identifying areas where development can and can not take place.

Sitting underneath the Cornwall Local Plan are area-based policies for the larger settlements, reflecting the specific character and needs of each place.  These are referred to as either Town Frameworks or Neighbourhood Plans.

The NPPF requires that Local Plans 'be prepared with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development.' The Plans themselves draw upon a large amount of studies and research that forms an evidence base, ensuring that the content of the plan is based on robust information.

Local Plans should cover a 20 year period, and be able to demonstrate that the content of the Plan is deliverable, meaning that a sufficient number of sites have been identified to achieve the objectives of the Plan. 

Interim and Adopted Planning Policy - From 1 April 2009, the six District Councils and the County Council became a unitary authority - Cornwall Council. Many of the planning policies that were used by the former districts have been saved until such time that a county wide Local Plan is adopted. These policies will be used to determine plannig applications that are submitted to Cornwall Council, albeit that the national guidance of the NPPF will be given greatest weight in decision making if the saved policies are considered out-of-date.

A page on this website has been set-up to provide details of how the Local Plan is progressing, and the additional documents that will be prepared in support of the Plan.

Planning policy is periodically reviewed and updated.  For details of the latest developments from the Cornwall Council Planning and Regeneration Service you can subscribe to the What's New in Planning page.