Local Plans

Track English councils' progress in adopting local plans and view the latest data on our interactive map, including the latest updates on local plan coverage from the Planning Inspectorate.

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Mapped: core strategy progress data (updated 12.04.2023)

Use our interactive map to view English councils' progress in adopting local plans and view a spreadsheet containing the latest data on local plan coverage from the Planning Inspectorate.

Local Plans News

Mole Valley District Council offices (Pic: Mole Valley District Council)

Housing Land Supply Watch: Inspector rejects use of emerging plan’s housing target in Surrey council's supply figure and allows 144 green belt homes

A planning inspector has allowed an appeal for 144 homes on a green belt site in Surrey, rejecting a council’s argument that its housing land supply figure should be calculated using its emerging local plan’s homes target because it has paused work on the strategy.

Michael Gove in Westminster, October 2023. Image: Peter Nicholls/Getty

Gove ‘hopes’ revised NPPF will publish next week making it easier for councils to diverge from local housing needs

Housing secretary Michael Gove yesterday told MPs that the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will be published next week and would include “a clearer basis on which a local authority can argue for a divergence from objectively assessed housing need in specific circumstances”.

Guildhall entrance of Wrexham County Borough Council offices. Image: Jaggery and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

High Court orders council to adopt local plan it twice refused to pass

A High Court judge has ordered a local authority to adopt its draft local plan that it has twice tried to reject, despite being found sound by a planning inspector.

Bedford Borough Council (Pic: David Howard CC BY-SA 2.0)

Inspector says local plan’s infrastructure provision and ‘stepped’ housing trajectory raise ‘fundamental soundness issues’

An examining inspector has said he is “unable to conclude” that a council’s local plan “meets the tests of soundness” due to uncertainty around its proposed infrastructure provision and its approach to housing delivery.

Local Plans In Depth

Michael Gove cut out in front of calendars and a building in the background (credit Getty Images)

When we can expect the levelling up act’s measures to come into effect

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act has just gained Royal Assent. While a few of its planning provisions will come into effect within the next few months, most of them will require much further work before implementation.

Pic: Emma Austin/Getty Images

The fallout from Gove’s letter to council chiefs urging them to get on with plan-making

A letter sent by the housing secretary to council chiefs and leaders urging them to carry on plan-making has prompted a degree of confusion among practitioners. Some say the document may be cited as a material consideration in planning decisions and could lead to the loss of affordable housing if misinterpreted.

Green belt. Pic: Emma Austin/Getty Images

Why England’s green belt is getting bigger

Despite long-standing concerns from campaigners, England’s green belt is actually at a 20-year high. A closer look at the figures reveals that just two councils' local plans can account for its growth in the past two years.

Keir Starmer. Pic: Emma Austin/Getty Images

The challenges facing Labour’s bold planning pledges

Labour has set out its stall for the next general election with pledges to overhaul planning and build more homes. But, if the party comes to power, it will need to act quickly and make use of existing policy levers and mechanisms.

Local Plan Comment

Why developers may need to cut their reliance on single-use resources sooner than they think, by Cliff Hague

Although the National Planning Policy Framework makes only oblique reference to the circular economy, some local authorities are already embedding the concept into policy.

Why pretty pictures alone won’t fix your indigestible local plan, by Cliff Hague

Councils can do their level best to make their local plans understandable and accessible for ordinary people, but the sheer amount of strategy and detail necessary to convince the government that the plan should be adopted renders the planning system exclusive.

How to produce a good local plan, by Catriona Riddell

Developing a clear vision for an area is arguably the key ingredient of a local plan, with effective engagement with communities and neighbouring authorities also critical to success.