Northumberland Local Plan

The Northumberland local plan is a collection of documents containing planning policies used to assess applications and guide the location of future development in the county.

A Local Plan document is currently being prepared by the Council. It will include the planning policies that will be used to guide and determine future planning applications in Northumberland, detail the scale and distribution of new development and include land allocations and designations.

A consultation to capture views on preferred strategic locations for housing and employment development and the big issues that the new Local Plan for Northumberland should seek to address is taking place from 28 March 2018 until 2 May 2018. The consultation takes the form of an online spatial survey. Comments on a draft of the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report are also being invited in the period from 28 March 2018 to 2 May 2018 More information on both of these consultations is provided below.
This consultation takes the form of an online spatial survey that seeks to capture views on preferred strategic locations for housing and employment development and the big issues that the new Local Plan for Northumberland should seek to address.

To view the survey and provide us with your response, please click on the link below: The consultation runs from 28 March 2018 until and 2 May 2018 and all responses must be received by us no later than 5pm on Wednesday 2 May 2018.


To help complete the online spatial survey we have produce a guide with step-by-step instructions and some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which can be viewed by clicking on the links below: 
A copy of the survey can also be downloaded in a pdf file format for those unable to access the online version of the survey using the link below. However, we would recommend using the Online Spatial Survey as this is interactive and provides for a better user experience.
Next steps

The responses from this consultation will help to inform the preparation of the new Northumberland Local Plan. A consultation on a draft Local Plan will take place in Summer 2018 and this will provide an opportunity to make detailed comments on the wording of draft policies and areas allocated in the plan. At this time we will also some overall feedback on the responses to this consultation.
Sustainability Appriasal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) are processes that must be carried out alongside the preparation of the Northumberland Local Plan. The purpose is to promote sustainable development by appraising the extent to which the policies and proposals in the emerging Local Plan would achieve environmental, social and economic objectives.

Scoping stage
The preparation of a Scoping Report is the first stage in the SA/SEA process. This stage involves collecting baseline information on the environmental, social and economic conditions in the Local Plan area and developing the sustainability objectives that will provide the basis of appraising the emerging Local Plan.

A draft SA Scoping Report has now been prepared and is open for consultation from 28 March to 2 May 2018. 
Any comments should be submitted to us no later than 5pm on Wednesday 2 May 2018. Comments can be submitted by email to planningstrategy@northumberland.gov.uk or by post to Planning Policy, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF.
To help inform preparation of the new Northumberland Local Plan, residents, landowners, developers, agents and other interested parties were invited to put forward sites for potential development allocations in the Plan as part of a 'call for sites' consultation.

The consultation closed on 12 March 2018 and we are now assessing all of the submissions received. This will inform the site selection process and for preparing our updated Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) and five year housing land supply analysis. Any late submissions cannot be guaranteed to feed into this work. Proposed site allocations will be set out in the draft Local Plan which will be published for public consultation in  Summer 2018.
A summary of the main dates for the preparation of the Local Plan are summarised below:
  • Initial consultation - Spring 2018
  • Consultation on draft Local Plan - Summer 2018
  • Publication - Winter 2018
  • Submission - Summer 2019
  • Adoption - Summer 2020
The full timetable for the preparation of the viewed in the Local Development Scheme document. 
There will be opportunities to provide us with your comments at each of the key stages in the preparation of the Local Plan. If you would like to be notified of any relevant Local Plan consultations and be kept up-to-date with progress you can add your name to our database by either: Further information on how the council will involve local people in preparing the Local Plan can be found in the Statement of Community Involvement document.
The Northumberland Core Strategy was submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for independent examination on 7 April 2017.

At the Council meeting on 5 July 2017, Northumberland County Council agreed to formally withdraw the Core Strategy from the independent examination process. A Statement of Withdrawal, Frequently Asked Questions and Papers from the Council Meeting can be viewed accordingly.

Following a review, the Council has agreed that a full Local Plan document will be prepared and the Council will no longer be proceeding with the Core Strategy as well as the proposed Delivery Document.

The Council has also produced a position statement regarding the general approach that will be taken to planning applications following the withdrawal of the Core Strategy, with particular regard to proposals for housing development. Click here to view the position statement following the withdrawal of the Core Strategy.
In November 2017 the Council received a letter from the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government regarding the potential for Government intervention in the process to prepare the Northumberland Local Plan.
The Council made a full response in line with the deadline set by Government.  The response letter and related correspondence can be viewed below: The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government wrote to the council on 23 March 2017 to confirm there are no plans intervene or take further action at the present time. This is subject to the timetable in the Local Development Scheme being amended to produce the plan earlier and to be clearer about the dates for the key milestones by identifying specific months.  The council is currently reviewing the Local Development Scheme to take into account the recommendations of the Secretary of State. A revised Local Development Scheme will be published in due course. 
The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) sets out the Council’s commitments on involving local people and businesses in preparing the Local Plan and informing and consulting them on planning applications.

Click here to view the Statement of Community Involvement document.
The Local Development Scheme (LDS) sets out the broad timetable for the preparation of the Northumberland Local Plan, including the dates for key consultations and the adoption of the final document.

Click here to view Local Development Scheme 2017-2020 (November 2017).

Please note this version of the Local Development Scheme includes the revisions to the timetable following the withdrawal of the Core Strategy from examination in July 2017.
The Council is proposing to prepare the following Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) to provide additional guidance on the proposed policies in the Northumberland Local Plan and advice to assist in considering and determining planning applications:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Design
  • Hot Food Takeaway
  • Renewable Energy

There are also existing adopted Supplementary Planning Documents, which can be viewed using the links in the Consolidated Planning Policy Framework.
The Council carries out regular monitoring to help understand how well the current planning policies are working. Monitoring is important to help inform the preparation of the planning policies and decisions on planning applications.

Click here to view more information on monitoring.