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Planning policies - new Local Plan

Our new Local Plan will set out planning policies in the district for the period to 2031.

It will make sure development meets our strategic priorities through:

  • Policies to meet our future needs relating to areas such as housing, employment, community facilities, transport as well as infrastructure needed to support development
  • Strategic allocations of land to meet future needs
  • Policies to protect the local environment
  • Identifying the boundaries of strategic and local green space

These policies are important when making decisions on planning applications. Our new Local Plan must be inline with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

We are preparing a new Local Plan as we identified that there are some areas of national policy that are not reflected in our Core Strategy and that there are a number of policies that are not fully inline with national policy.  

Running in parallel to the preparation of the new Local Plan is the Sustainability Appraisal process. This is an integral part of the plan-making process and further information is available at Sustainability Appraisals and Strategic Environmental Assessments for the new Local Plan.

The development of the new Local Plan is supported by a number of evidence documents and background reports. View background planning documents.

New Local Plan timetable (Local Development Scheme)

The new Local Plan timetable is set out in the Local Development Scheme. The Local Development Scheme enables the local community to find out about planning policies for their area and sets out the timetable for the production of the new Local Plan, giving key production and public consultation stages as well as outlining the subject matter and the geographical extent. It also provides information on future Supplementary Planning Documents to be prepared. 

A new timetable has been approved for the preparation of the Local Plan. The approved timetable is: 

  • September 2017: Council approval of pre-submission Local Plan for publication
  • September/October/November 2017 opportunity for comments on the pre-submission Local Plan
  • January 2018: Submission of Local Plan to Secretary of State for public examination  
  • April/May 2018: Examination hearing
  • August 2018: Receipt of inspector’s report
  • October 2018: Adoption of the Local Plan   

The Local Plan preparation timetable depends on council decisions, evidence gathering, and the outcome of discussions with partner organisations (including neighbouring local authorities and other local authorities within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area). 

Current Stage - assessment of selected options

Following the new Local Plan Options Consultation and the assessment of the 9 alternative options, we are currently in the process of a detailed analysis of the 4 selected options approved by the council’s Executive Committee in May. These are:

  • Option 2: Core Strategy distribution
  • Option 4 (amended): Scraptoft North Strategic Development Area
  • Option 5: Kibworth North and East Strategic Development Area
  • Option 6: Lutterworth East Strategic Development Area

These Selected Options are undergoing further tests relating to land availability, infrastructure requirements, transport impact, flood risk, viability, landscape impact, environmental sensitivity/ mitigation and sustainability. 

On 10 October 2016 the Executive noted a report containing the minutes of the Local Planning Advisory Panel on 19 September 2016 which recommended that:

  • A Strategic Development Area on land east of Lutterworth should be the preferred option for meeting Harborough District’s housing and employment needs over the Plan period to 2031 and beyond.
  • Scraptoft North SDA should be allocated as a reserve site for 1200 dwellings, only to be released if needed to contribute to meeting housing need from other local authorities as agreed within a Memorandum of Understanding or equivalent. 

At its meeting on 17 October 2016, the Advisory Panel resolved to advise the Executive that subsequent submission of the Local Plan for Examination be subject to the risks associated with the East of Lutterworth SDA being satisfactorily addressed.  The Executive noted the minutes of this meeting at its meeting on 5 December 2016.

Previous stages of the new Local Plan (listed with most recent first)

Assessment of the 9 alternative options

The 9 alternative options set out in the new Local Plan Options Consultation Paper were assessed in the light of consultation responses, the results of the sustainability appraisal, their conformity with local and national planning objectives and other evidence. The results of this assessment were presented to the council’s Executive Committee on 9 May 2016 and resulted in the approval of 4 selected options for further, more detailed assessment.  

Alternative options for the New Local Plan

A new Local Plan Options Consultation Paper was consulted on in September – October 2015. The paper focused on meeting the district’s future need for homes and jobs. It set out 9 Alternative Options for locating housing and employment across the district and other proposed policy approaches. The paper is accompanied by an interim Sustainability Appraisal of the options.

The Alternative Options presented in the consultation took into account the requirements of national planning policy and guidance and were informed by the available evidence.

Scoping consultation

A consultation was held on the new Local Plan from 18 March to 28 April 2013. Read the report and public responses from the new Local Plan scoping consultation

Previous Local Plan

Most policies set out in our previous Local Plan (2001) have been replaced by our Core Strategy, and these policies will no longer apply. A list of Local Plan policies that continue to apply are set out within Appendix 3 of the Core Strategy.