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.

Consultation on a draft of the Local Plan took place in July and August 2018 and consultation on a 'Publication Draft' is programmed to begin in late January 2019 before it is submitted for examination in May 2019. Prior to the consultation the Local Plan will be considered by Cabinet (19 December 2018) and Full Council (9 January 2019). 
Consultation on a draft of the Northumberland Local Plan took place between 4 July 2018 and Wednesday 15 August 2018.

The comments received are currently being processed. We will consider all comments received in response to this consultation, and together with updated any evidence, they will be used to inform the ‘Publication Draft’ Local Plan where appropriate. This version of the Local Plan will be subject to public consultation in January 2019 before it is submitted for independent examination in May 2019.

Consultation document
Drop-in sessions
During the consultation a number of drop-in sessions were held across Northumberland to allow people to find out more about the consultation and how to provide their comments. The drop-in sessions included a small exhibition with staff involved in the preparation of the Local Plan present to help answer any questions.

Click here to view the details of the dates, times and venues of drop-in sessions for this consultation.

The display material can be viewed by clicking on the links below:
Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment
The draft Local Plan is accompanied by a Sustainability Appraisal Report and a Habitats Regulations Assessment and can be viewed below.
Evidence base and other supporting documents
A number of background and research studies have been undertaken to help support and inform the preparation of the Local Plan. These studies and reports can be viewed on the following page on our main website:
A summary of the main dates for the preparation of the Local Plan are summarised below:
  • Initial consultation - 28 March 2018 to 2 May 2018 (Complete)
  • Consultation on draft Local Plan - 4 July 2018 to 15 August 2018 (Complete)
  • Publication -  January 2019
  • Submission - May 2019
  • Examination hearings - September 2019
  • Adoption - March 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.
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 took place between 28 March 2018 and 2 May 2018. The consultation took the form of an Online Spatial Survey.

Consultation feedback

This consultation provided some initial feedback on the key issues the Local Plan should consider and captured views on the broad strategic locations for both housing development and employment development. Along with the findings from various evidence base studies, the responses from this consultation have helped to inform a draft of the Local Plan.

A feedback report has been prepared to provide an overview of the consultation and a summary of the responses received in reply. View the Spring 2018 Consultation Feedback Report.
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.
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.

SA Report for Draft Local Plan
An Interim SA report has been prepared alongside the preparation of the draft Northumberland Local Plan (Draft Plan for Regulation 18 consultation). It appraises the likely effects of the Local Plan and the reasonable alternatives as well as giving consideration to mitigating adverse effects. Click here to view the Interim SA Report (June 2018)

Comments on the above SA report are invited between 4 July 2018 and 15 August 2018. Comments should be sent to the Planning Policy Team by email ( or by post (Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth NE61 2EF) and must be received no later than 5pm on Wednesday 15 August 2018.

Scoping stage
The preparation of a Scoping Report was the first stage in the SA/SEA process. This stage involved 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. Click here to view the draft SA Scoping Report

Comments were invited on a draft of the SA Scoping Report between 28 March 2018 and 2 May 2018 and the comments received were used to inform the SA objectives and SA framework used to appraise the emerging Northumberland Local Plan as well as establishing whether the baseline information and issues identified were relevant. 
The purpose of the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) is to assess the possible effects of the Local Plan on the nature conservation interests of sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and Ramsar sites. Click here to view the Habitats Regulations Assessment (July 2018).
This Duty to Cooperate statement has been prepared to accompany the Northumberland Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation. It demonstrates how the Council has, and continues to, fully comply with the requirements of “the Duty”. Below are the list of documents:
Planning Policy Team aims to be transparent and provide accessible information to individuals about how their personal data will be used through a privacy notice. A copy of our privacy notice is available HERE.
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 2018-2021 (April 2018)

This version of the Local Development Scheme supersedes the version published in November 2017. It has been amended to accelerate the timetable for preparation of the Local Plan and to identify specific months for each of the key milestones in order to improve clarity.
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.