The 'duty to cooperate' was created in the Localism Act 2011. It places a legal duty on local planning authorities, county councils in England and public bodies to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to maximise the effectiveness of local plan preparation in the context of strategic cross-boundary matters.

The local authorities in Norfolk have established a Strategic Norfolk Planning Member Forum made up of elected members who have worked together since forming in 2015. The forum oversees the preparation of a Norfolk Strategic Planning Framework (NSPF) document on behalf of all the planning authorities in Norfolk and meets every three months. The NSPF provides a structure for dealing with planning issues across the county, especially those which have a strategic impact across local authority boundaries.

An engagement protocol between local planning authorities and health service providers has also been produced. This protocol promotes working together with:

  • local planning authorities
  • Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Health Partners
  • Public Health Norfolk
  • Public Health Suffolk

The Norfolk Strategic Planning Member Forum - Norfolk County Council includes information about members of the forum, meeting dates and papers and the latest version of the Norfolk Strategic Planning Framework and Statement of Common Ground.