Ipswich Borough Council Local Plan Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) DPD Review - Final Draft
CHAPTER 1: Introduction
1.1 This introduction provides an explanation of:
- what the document covers;
- what status this document has and how it relates to other documents forming part of the Ipswich Local Plan; and
- how this stage of the process fits in to the production process for the Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) Development Plan Document.
What the Document Covers
1.2 The formal title of this plan is the 'Final Draft Site Allocations and Policies (incorporating IP-One Area Action Plan) Development Plan Document'. It is hereafter referred to simply as the 'Final Draft Site Allocations Plan'. When the review process has been completed, which is expected in 2020, this Site Allocations Plan will supersede the one adopted in February 2017.
1.3 The Site Allocations Plan covers three main areas of policy. Firstly it identifies a wide range of sites across the whole Borough, which should be allocated for development or afforded a degree of protection from development (Chapter 4). Secondly it sets out policies for town centre uses such as retail and leisure (Chapter 5). Finally it provides development guidelines for six opportunity areas within IP-One where significant development and public realm improvements are anticipated (Chapter 6). Policies and proposals specifically for the IP-One area are included throughout the relevant sections of the plan, with only the additional development guidelines set out in a separate chapter for the Opportunity Areas. The policies contained in the plan are referenced 'SP' meaning sites policy.
1.4 It does not cover the Borough-wide strategy for growth, or overall housing and employment figures for Ipswich. These are dealt with through the Core Strategy and Policies Development Plan Document (the 'Core Strategy'), which is also subject to review. An updated policies map and IP-One Area Inset policies map will be published alongside this Final Draft Site Allocations Plan.
1.5 This Final Draft Site Allocations Plan also includes two non-policy based parts. Part A provides the context to the whole document, which explains among other things the Ipswich Local Plan and how all Ipswich's planning documents fit together. Part D considers policy implementation, targets and monitoring proposals.
1.6 A Sustainability Appraisal incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment has been carried out alongside the preparation of this draft plan. The full results of that exercise are available in a separate report.
What status this document has
1.7 The first Site Allocations Plan was adopted by the Council on 22nd February 2017 and looks ahead to 2031. It forms part of the statutory development plan with the Core Strategy and Policies Development Plan Document, together they form the Ipswich Local Plan. Therefore, it carries significant weight in the determination of planning applications via the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act section 38(6):
"… 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."
1.8 Both of the plans are now under review. This document is an formal draft, setting out the Council's final site policies and proposals, looking ahead to 2036. The production of the Site Allocations Plan will follow a five stage process as set out below:
Stage 1: Notification of the intention to prepare a plan, inviting representations on its content and considering the representations made (regulation 18) – this was undertaken through Issues and Options consultation in 2017 and Preferred Options consultation in Spring 2019;
Stage 2: Publication of the plan, inviting representations in relation to its soundness, and considering the representations made (regulations 19-20) – this is the current stage of plan preparation;
Stage 3: Submission of the plan and representations to the Secretary of State (regulation 22) – this is expected to take place in Spring 2020;
Stage 4: Independent examination of the plan and publication of the Inspector's recommendations (regulations 23-25) – this is expected to take place in Summer 2020; and
Stage 5: Adoption of the plan by the Council (regulation 26) – expected in early 2021.
1.9 A summary of the tests of soundness is contained at Appendix 1 and a list of all the policies contained in this plan at Appendix 2.
1.10 The revised Local Development Scheme (February 2019) provides more details on the various stages and the process involved in producing documents.
 Town & Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012