About The Local Plan

A Local Plan sets out a vision and a framework for the future development of the area, addressing needs and opportunities for housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure, as well as the basis for conserving and enhancing the natural and historic environment, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and achieving well designed places.

The Local Plan is at the heart of the planning system and provides the framework for all planning decisions to be judged against.

Why are we producing a new Local Plan?

The District’s existing Local Plan consists of the Core Strategy 2010 and the Land Allocations Plan 2015, as well as saved policies from the 2002 Local Plan. The existing Development Plans can be viewed on the Dover District Council Website. The Government has made changes to legislation, policy and guidance since these plans were developed, which means they need to be reviewed and updated.

The Government requires all local authorities to have an up to date local plan in place by December 2023. New Plans can take several years to finalise and so it is important we make progress now. 

What is the Plan making process

The key stages involved in the plan making process are as follows:

1. Evidence gathering. As part of this stage we:

  • Carried out stakeholder workshops which have helped to inform the key issues that the Plan needs to address;
  • Developed the evidence which is needed to support the Plan;
  • Identified and assessed the different options for delivering the required growth and development;
  • Carried out a targeted stakeholder consultation on specific issues to inform the draft plan for consultation;
  • Liaised with our neighbouring authorities under the duty to co-operate to agree statements of common ground in relation to cross border issues; and
  • Prepared draft policies and proposals which form the basis of the Regulation 18 consultation document.

2. Regulation 18 Public Consultation on the Draft Local Plan

3. Regulation 19 Public Consultation on the Pre-Submission Version of the Draft Local Plan

4. Submission of Local Plan to the Secretary of State for Examination

5. Examination of the Local Plan by a Planning Inspector

6. Adoption of the Local Plan

What stage are we at in the Plan making process?

Consultation on the Regulation 18 stage Draft Dover District Local Plan closed on the 17th March 2021.

Following the end of the consultation officers will:

  • Review and consider all responses received to the consultation and;
  • Complete the evidence supporting the plan

A Final Draft (known as a Regulation 19 Submission version) of the Plan will then be produced. This will be subject to a further consultation commencing in the first quarter of 2022, before the Plan is submitted to the government for examination.

The Plan will then be examined by an independent Planning Inspector who will report on whether the document meets with legal requirements. There will be an opportunity to make modifications to the Plan at this stage if they are deemed necessary. If the Plan is legally compliant and sound, the Council will then formally adopt it, and it will then become the statutory development plan for Dover District for the period to 2040

How can I get involved in the Local Plan making process?

Consultation on the Local Plan will be carried out in accordance with the Council’s Adopted Statement of Community Involvement

The next opportunity to comment on the Local Plan will be the Regulation 19 Public Consultation on the Pre-Submission Version of the Draft Local Plan.

What is the timetable for producing the Local Plan?

The timetable for preparing the new Local Plan is as follows:

  • Regulation 18 Consultation on the Draft Local Plan: 20th January – 17th March 2021
  • Regulation 19 Consultation on the Publication draft Local Plan: Q1 2022
  • Submission of the Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate: Q3 2022
  • Examination of the Local Plan: Q4 2022
  • Adoption of the Local Plan: 2023

Further information is set out in the Council’s Local Development Scheme