Local plan making


Campaign for planning policies that support the protection and provision of community food growing spaces

In this section we will look at how local plans are produced. You will be able to identify how your organisation can get involved in local plan making so that new community food growing spaces are provided in new development, existing spaces are protected and spaces for new gardens are found.

Remember – you are the experts in knowing how much interest there is in food growing and where future opportunities lie. We will look at the evidence you have to support policies in the new local plan.

Local Plans are statutory plans – they are used to make planning decisions. There are rules and regulations set down by Parliament to make sure that the correct procedures are followed and all interested residents, businesses, landowners and organisations have had their chance to get involved. We will look at the principles of these rules and why you will need to interact with planners in a specific way during the formal public consultation.

Finally, we have provided some pointers to more help for communities.

First of all, you will need to know what stage of the local plan making process your authority is at. There are 3 formal stages:

Stage 1: Public consultation on Issues

  • Early stage of local plan making or plan review
  • Opportunity to make sure food growing is covered by policy.

Stage 2: Public consultation on the draft local plan

  • Draft Local plan produced
  • Final opportunities to influence policy if the draft local plan does not adequately reflect your objectives or capture the development opportunities to create more food growing space.

Stage 3: Examination of the planning policies

  • The opportunity if necessary, to present your case to the local plan’s inspector at its examination, suggesting the wording you would like to see and making the case that the local plan will otherwise be “unsound”.

If this is all new to you we suggest you go to the 'Getting started' page first.

If you have an adopted local plan or your authority is not currently working on a local plan, check out the section on Other Planning Tools.

Look at the Making it happen section to make sure the policies are implemented.

The local plan making system differs in each nation. We are working in detail with English cities. Other communities must apply the lessons learnt to the system in their own country.


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