Local Development Scheme (LDS) News Update
The Council’s LDS was approved on 16 June 2022. The LDS is a project management document that sets out the timetable for the production of the Local Plan and other associated documents. It provides an overview of the process of drafting them and identifies key milestones and timescales for their preparation. This LDS covers a three year time period up to 2026. The timetable set out in this document envisaged a Regulation 18 consultation starting in September 2023.
The Government has recently run a consultation on the implementation of plan-making reforms, and the Levelling Up & Regeneration Act has also received Royal Assent. The provisions of the Act will potentially have significant implications for the timetabling of the Thanet Local Plan review.
In their Report recommendations, the Local Plan Inspectors identified a number of specific matters for review that cannot currently be resolved, including:
- a review of the provisions of the Plan in relation to Manston Airport in the light of a decision on the Development Consent Order (DCO);
- an assessment of the implications of the Local Housing Need Methodology on housing requirements for the district; and
- the implications of the latest changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (This is the key Government guidance in relation to planning matters).
There have been significant delays to the DCO process, resulting from legal challenges, which means that it has not been possible to assess the potential implications of the decision for the Local Plan.
In relation to the housing methodology, the Government has indicated that it will “review the implications on the standard method of new household projections data based on the 2021 Census, which is due to be published in 2024”.
Furthermore, there have been a number of amendments to the NPPF since the adoption of the Plan, and the latest changes (first proposed in December 2022) will not now be incorporated into the NPPF until 2024.
Under the circumstances, we believe that it is prudent to review the timetable set out in the LDS in light of the matters set out above. Therefore the Council did not publish a Regulation 18 consultation in September, as proposed in the LDS. A revised LDS will be published in due course setting out a revised programme.
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What is the Local Development Scheme?
As part of the Planning and Compulsory Act 2004 (as amended) each Local Planning Authority must prepare a Local Development Scheme (LDS).
The LDS is a project management document for the production of the Local Plan. This LDS for Thanet identifies and describes the “Development Plan Documents (DPDs)” which the District Council intends to produce to make up the Local Plan. It provides an overview of the process of drafting them and identifies key milestones and timescales for their preparation. This LDS covers a three year time period.
Additional information is included in the LDS about Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) the Council also anticipates will be prepared to supplement the Local Plan. This includes indicative timescales for preparing them. Collectively the DPDs and SPDs are known as Local Development Documents (LDDs).
The LDS serves two purposes:
- it provides the starting point for the local community to find out what the Council’s, as the Local Planning Authority, planning policies are for the area, by setting out all the LDDs that already form and supplement the Local Plan; and
- it sets out the programme for the preparation of DPDs over a three-year period including timetables indicating when the various stages in the preparation of any particular DPD will be carried out.
- View the Local Development Scheme as agreed by Cabinet on June 2022, and replaces the LDS published in December 2021.