Somerset County Council

Local Plan preparation


Local Plans are documents that will guide how and where development takes place in Somerset. Local plans will form the development plan for your area, together with Neighbourhood Plans prepared by parish/town councils or Neighbourhood Forums. Local Plans set out the vision for the area, identify the overall scale and nature of change and include site allocations.

Neighbourhood Plans will need to be consistent with the Local Plans produced by the local planning authorities in Somerset (Mendip District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, South Somerset District Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset Council). Further information on Neighbourhood Plans can be found below in 'About this service'.

About this service
The County Council as the statutory minerals and waste planning authority is responsible for the specialist minerals and waste local plans which can be viewed by following the links under the Information and Resources section to the right.

Other local plans are prepared by district councils for their areas and cover a wider range of topics such as housing, employment, transport and provision of community facilities, for example. For more information about local plans, please visit the planning policy sections of the district council websites.

Please note that the term 'Local Plan' has been re-introduced through the Localism Act 2011. Formerly, a Local Development Framework was to be prepared by local authorities including Core Strategies and other development plan documents such as site allocation documents. Some of these have been recently adopted by Somerset district councils under the old terminology given transitional arrangements. 

Until Regional Spatial Strategies and Structure Plans were revoked, local plans had to conform with the adopted regional spatial strategy and the structure plan for the area. For more information please visit visit the Somerset and Exmoor National Park Joint Structure Plan web page.

Neighbourhood Development Plan Preparation
Although they will be unable to propose less growth than that outlined in the Local Plans, they will be able to propose higher growth. If this is approved by referendum, the higher level will be incorporated into the Local Plan.

Because the Plan will become part of the Development Plan, it must be prepared following a formal process.  This process involves:

  • Designation of a Neighbourhood Area 
  • Plan prepared by the local community 
  • Formal Community Engagement undertaken by the District Council 
  • District Council checks for legal compliance 
  • Independent check (a public inquiry called an Examination) 
  • Referendum 
  • Adoption by the District Council  

In considering the needs and aspirations of your community, and options for community planning, do contact your district council.

A diagram of the new and evolving planning system can be found under Information and resources.

Further information on Neighbourhood Planning can be also found by clicking on the links in Information and Resources to the right. These links are provided for information, and Somerset County Council does not take responsibility for their content.


Contact: Minerals and Waste Planning Policy Team 
Address: County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY 
Phone 0300 123 2224 
Opening Hours: Monday 8am to 6pm, Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.

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