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PLANNING ESSENTIALS: Getting to know your Local Plan

Understanding the intricacies of your council’s development policies will stand you in good stead when looking for the perfect plot and gaining planning consent for your project, says Mike Dade
Getting to know your Local Plan could help you identify land that your council has earmarked for development or that’s within settlement boundaries

When undertaking a selfbuild, it makes good sense to get to know the basics of planning regulations, including your council’s Local Plan. This policy document is prepared by district and borough councils throughout England and considers the specifics of the local area, whatever they may be. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own equivalent – Local Development Plans for the former two and Development Plans for the latter.

Local Plans work in conjunction with government guidance contained in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to form the basis of decisions on planning applications. Furthermore, some councils have additional or supplementary policy guidance that fleshes out various aspects of the Local Plan. It’s a complex system, but something that is certainly worth getting to grips with. Knowledge of the policies and proposals specific to the location in which you wish to build will prove invaluable when you’re plot hunting and assessing planning potential.

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About Build It

The September edition of Build It magazine will help you get your self-build, renovation or extension project off on the right foot. It’s packed with inspiration and advice, including: • Britain's best self-builds and renovations (page 19) • A contemporary, low-maintenance home (page 30) • Prefab homes: The future of self-build? (page 70) • Why underfloor heating makes sense for renovations (page 73) • How to create the perfect kitchen-diner extension (page 94) • How to get value for money (page 106) … and more!