2 Planning Policy


2.1 Preparing the Local Plan

2.1.1 Elmbridge Borough Council's Local Plan will set out a vision for the future development of the Borough over the next 15 years. It will address needs and opportunities in relation to housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure. It is also a basis for safeguarding the environment, adapting to climate change and securing good design.

The Local Plan will;
  • make clear what development will take place;
  • where and when this development will occur;
  • how development will be delivered.

2.1.2 The Local Plan will be consistent with the Government's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and is underpinned by extensive evidence. The Plan is subject to public consultation and independent examination by a Planning Inspector.

2.1.3 To be effective, plans need to be kept up-to-date. The NPPF states that policies in local plans should be reviewed to assess whether they need updating at least once every 5 years, and should then be updated as necessary.

2.1.4 The Local Plan sets out the Borough's Spatial Strategy, Development Management policies, site allocations and designations. Other important Local Plan documents include:

  • Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) - add further detail to policies in the Local Plan. They provide further guidance for development on specific sites and on particular development issues, such as design. They will be supported by appropriate evidence and accord with national planning policy and the Local Plan.
  • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - is a statutory charge on new buildings and extensions used to fund infrastructure provision required as a result of new development.
  • A Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) will need to be undertaken for the Local Plan and some other Local Plan documents. These are procedures required by law to assess the economic, social and environmental impact of the plan.
  • A Local Development Scheme (LDS) sets out a 3 year work programme for producing Local Plan documents.

2.1.5 The progress and success of these documents is monitored annually through the Authority Monitoring Report (AMR). The current AMR and previous years are available to view on the Council's website.

2.1.6 The following diagram explains the process for preparing a Local Plan and Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs). An SPD is not subject to an independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate.

Diagram 1: Stages in preparing a Local Plan and a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)