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Home > Planning > Development Plans

Development Plans

Local planning authorities (LPAs) make most planning decisions. Each decision is guided by development plans which each LPA is required to draw up by law.

We assess these plans on behalf of the Secretary of State before they are formally adopted by LPAs.

It is our responsibility to make sure the plans meet national and regional planning guidance issued by the Secretary of State. If we consider a development plan to be unsatisfactory in its interpretation of national and regional planning guidance, we can ask the LPA to modify it.

Development plans provide developers and local people with a clear idea of the types of development that would or would not be acceptable.

Saved Policies

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 automatically saved all adopted structure, local and unitary development plan policies for a period of three years from the date of its commencement (28 September 2004). 

  • During this period, local authorities were expected to bring forward local development documents to replace their saved plan policies.  The three-year period ended on 27 September 2007.
  • The Act made provision, however, for local authorities to seek the approval of the Secretary of State to extend the development plan status of their saved policies beyond 27 September 2007. 

On behalf of the Secretary of State, GOSE duly received requests to extend the policies in 65 structure, local and unitary development plans throughout the South East region. 

  • The Secretary of State’s direction letters saving policies beyond 27 September 2007 are set out below.
  • Any policies in plans adopted on or before 28 September 2004 not listed in these directions ceased to have development plan status from 28 September 2007.

For any old-style development plans adopted after 28 September 2004, their policies retain their development plan status for three years from the date of adoption.

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Planning - Bucks, Berks, Oxon, Sussex, Hants & IoW

Planning - RSS

Planning - Surrey, Kent
Government Office for the South East
Bridge House
1 Walnut Tree Close
tel: 01483 882255

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Development Plans in
 List item 1  East of England
 List item 2  West Midlands
 List item 3  Yorkshire and The Humber
 List item 4  North East
 List item 5  East Midlands
 List item 6  North West
 List item 7  London
 List item 8  National

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