New Local Plan

What is the Spatial Options Consultation?

The Council is in the process of preparing a new Local Plan, which will set the strategy for the District to 2040. The new Local Plan will replace a number of the adopted policy documents which form the local development plan for the District, including the Core Strategy.

Our new Local Plan will need to take a vision-led approach to planning for economic growth, housing, infrastructure and the environment.

We are currently consulting on the latest stage of our new Local Plan – the Spatial Options document and its accompanying draft Integrated Impact Assessment.

The Spatial Options document is the second stage of consultation on the new Local Plan, following the Issues and Options document in 2018.

The Spatial Options document sets out a range of options relating to the key themes that make up our local area. We recognise that not all of these options are equally sustainable or appropriate. We need to ensure that the right options are selected to achieve a sustainable vision for Rochford over the next 20 years and beyond. The document also presents a range of settlement profiles, allowing you to tell us the parts of your local town and village that need improving, protecting or growing over the next 20 years.

To find out more please click the link to the Spatial Options consultation in the Related Content section.

What is the new Local Plan?

The Council is in the process of preparing a new Local Plan, which will set the strategy for the future development of the District beyond 2025 – the current plan period. The new Local Plan will replace a number of the adopted policy documents which form the local development plan for the District.

Once adopted the new Local Plan will replace a number of the adopted policy documents. It will set out the Council’s strategic vision, policies and land allocations, where necessary, for meeting future needs (including housing, employment, community facilities, transport and other infrastructure needed to support development). It will also identify areas for protection, such as sites that are important for wildlife and open space.

What is the timetable for the new Local Plan?

The timetable for preparing the new Local Plan is set out in the Council’s Local Development Scheme (LDS) which was adopted on20 July 2021. The preparation of an LDS is a statutory requirement which enables local communities and other interested parties to understand the Council’s proposed timetable for preparing the Local Plan, and the main steps involved. 

Local Development Scheme 2021-23 (adopted 20 July 2021)

What is the evidence supporting the new Local Plan?

There are a number of technical background documents which support the preparation of the new Local Plan (see Related Content). The development of the evidence base is an ongoing and new documents will be added when they become available.   

How is the Council engaging with local communities and businesses?

The Council held community engagement workshops at local parishes in Summer/Autumn 2016 to help shape the first stage of the new Local Plan, called the Issues and Options Document. The purpose of these workshops was to explain the role of the Parish Councils in plan-making and to help build up a clear vision for the future for each parish and the wider district. The workshops were also supplemented by a survey. This early engagement follows the principles for engaging and consulting with local communities set out in the Council’s Statement of Community Involvement, adopted on 19 July 2016.

The Council is currently consulting on an updated Statement of Community Involvement until Wednesday 8 September. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and other changes to the planning system, a review has identified a number of minor changes that could be made to the Statement of Community Involvement which are the subject to this consultation.

How do I get involved?

If you would like to be involved in the preparation of the new Local Plan and notified of future planning policy consultations, sign up to the  Planning Policy mailing list. This is a simple process requiring a valid email address (see Related Content section).