April 2012 - October 2012: Drafting of new policies and refining the plan

The Government published the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) document at the end of March 2012.

This represented a consolidation of national planning policy from the numerous Planning Policy Statements, Planning Policy Guidance and Circulars to one document. The policies developed for the draft Core Strategy had been based on the premise that national planning policy covered some policy areas so comprehensively that there was no need for locally specific policies. However when the NPPF was published it became clear that some of this detail had been lost and therefore it was necessary to do some analysis to see whether some new policies would be required within the Local Plan to cover these areas. New policies were required and subsequently prepared before being subjected to rigorous scrutiny by technical consultees and councillors before becoming part of the new Local Plan.

The updated evidence mentioned below was used to revisit the main policy areas related to housing numbers, job growth projections and employment land requirements to ensure that the Pre-Submission Draft Plan was based on the most up-to-date figures. This also required further Sustainability Appraisal work to be carried out which has resulted in a new Sustainability Appraisal Report being produced.

In early 2012 Localism Act came into being and associated government guidance brought an end to the complicated terminology associated with the Local Development Frameworks system that has been in place since 2004. Instead local authorities were asked to return to using the term Local Plan. From this point onwards what was called the LDF Core Strategy will now be called the Local Plan Part I: Strategy & Policies.