Preferred Options Core Strategy and Policies Development Plan Document (DPD) Review

Ended on the 13 March 2019
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Part A:

The Context

CHAPTER 2: The Planning System

2.1 The current development planning system was established through the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and subsequent amendments, such as the Localism Act 2011 which introduced neighbourhood plans. The national approach to planning policy is explained in the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 2018), Planning Practice Guidance and other documents covering specific topics such as the Marine Policy Statement and Planning Policy for Travellers Sites. The NPPF 2018 maintained the presumption in favour of sustainable development. For plan making, this means that local planning authorities should plan positively to meet the development needs of their area, and meet objectively assessed needs unless the adverse impacts of doing so would 'significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits', or specific policies of the NPPF indicate that development should be restricted. The NPPF also contains national land use policy on matters such as the economy, town centres, transport, housing and good design. Policies in the NPPF are supplemented by the National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG), an online set of guidance on implementing the policies in the NPPF.

2.2 Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act states that:

"... for the purpose of any determination to be made under the planning Acts the determination must be made in accordance with the (development) plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise."

2.3 The development plan for Ipswich will comprise various development plan documents, which will be adopted by the Borough Council as part of the Local Plan.

2.4 The Local Development Scheme for Ipswich sets out the documents, processes and timescales involved with the Local Plan.

2.5 The components of the Ipswich Local Plan are illustrated in Diagram 2. The adopted Local Plan Proposals Map will remain extant until replaced through other development plan documents (DPDs) to be prepared as part of the Ipswich Local Plan.

Diagram 2 Ipswich Local Development Scheme

Notes to diagram

  • The Statement of Community Involvement Review, adopted in March 2018, sets out how people will be involved within the planning process;
  • The Core Strategy and Policies Development Plan Document (i.e. this document) sets out the strategy for the development of the town and also includes policies that will seek to guide and manage development;
  • The Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) Development Plan Document and policies map will highlight land that is the subject of designations that means it will be protected, and identify allocations of land for specific types of development. It will also set out the vision for an urban renaissance for a large part of central Ipswich and provide design guidelines;
  • Supplementary Planning Documents can be theme-based documents providing additional detail to support the implementation of policies in the development plan documents, or site development briefs.

2.6 A key element of the planning system is the requirement to undertake Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment as documents are produced. The Sustainability Appraisal involves assessing strategic alternatives, policies and proposals against social, economic and environmental objectives to identify possible negative impacts. Policies are modified in response to the results, to ensure that harmful impacts are avoided or mitigated. Strategic Environmental Assessment focuses solely on environmental impacts. A Sustainability Appraisal Report setting out the Council's work in both areas will be published for consultation alongside this document.

2.7 Another requirement is an Appropriate Assessment of the plan under the Habitats Directive. This is an assessment of the potential effects of a proposed plan on sites of European importance for nature conservation. These include sites, often known as Natura 2000 sites, designated as Special Areas of Conservation (for habitats, and species except birds) or Special Protection Areas (for birds). Government policy in the National Planning Policy Framework applies the same protection to Ramsar sites also. The Orwell and Stour Estuaries are designated as a Special Protection Area and Ramsar Site.

2.8 A plan may only be approved if it can be shown that it will not adversely affect the integrity of a European designated habitat. A report published alongside this document explains the findings of the Appropriate Assessment. Where policies or proposals have been included in order to address the findings of the Appropriate Assessment, it is explained in the reasoned justification.

2.9 The Government first published the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in March 2012. The NPPF was further updated in 2018. In response, the Council introduced and maintains a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which is set out in policy CS1 of this document. The NPPF also requires that local planning authorities ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area over the plan period in this case to 2036[1].

[1] National Planning Policy Framework, paragraph 47, p. 12

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