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In this stage we continue to set the scope of the Plan by identifying issues and opportunities, and translating these into aims, objectives and an overall vision for the District and each of the larger settlements. We will fully appraise a range of policy and site options before identifying our preferred choices for a First Draft Local Plan Public Consultation. The consultation will show all alternatives options considered - this enables people to see why a particular approach has been chosen.

What we have agreed…

Strategic direction of the Plan

The broad strategy that the Local Plan should be based upon was agreed at the Planning Policy and Built Heritage Working Party on 19 February 2018. This covers district-wide issues such as where future development should be permitted, and the types of development that will be permitted (the Spatial Strategy) and the overall quantity of development required in those locations (Housing and Employment Strategies).

Of a number of potential options, the following preferred approaches are being used to inform the First Draft Local Plan:

  • The distribution of development across North Norfolk based on the following settlement hierarchy 1) Large Growth Towns, 2) Small Growth Towns, 3) Service Villages, 4) Villages, 5) Countryside.
  • Delivery of 9,000 - 10,000 homes over the 20 year plan period (3,500-4,500 homes on new allocated development sites), of which around 2,000 should be affordable homes.
  • Specific policies to address the needs of elderly people and prescribed technical standards for house construction.
  • Continuation of a ‘rural exceptions’ policy which allows the delivery of affordable homes in the Countryside, and, acceptance of a proportion of normal market housing within such schemes.

All options and alternatives considered are subject to detailed Sustainability Appraisal and public consultation before the Final Draft Local Plan is published (see Stage 5).

Identifying development sites for consultation

A range of provisional housing sites have been selected for inclusion in the First Draft Local Plan. This follows a detailed assessment of all site options and Sustainability Appraisal. The preferred sites were shortlisted from those suggested by landowners and those which correlate with the emerging Spatial Strategy. Work is ongoing to identify preferred sites for other uses such as employment.

Each of the preferred development sites will contain a policy setting out specific criteria that developers must conform to when seeking planning permission on allocated sites. We will continue to develop and refine these site specific policies prior to public consultation.

Further information on the site selection process can be viewed in the Working Party Reports for 19 March, 23 April, 21 May and 18 June 2018.

What we need to agree…

Review of development management policies and other guidance

A full review of existing, and the creation of new development management policies is now underway. These are the detailed policies used by the Council when reaching decisions on planning applications. The current policies in the Core Strategy need to be reviewed to ensure they are up to date, for example to conform with national policy and legislation, and are effective for use in the new Local Plan. Some of the key topics which will result in new policies are:

  • Providing for custom and self-build housing
  • Construction standards for new dwellings (referred to as Technical standards)
  • Protection of green spaces
  • Meeting the accommodation needs of older people
  • Type, quantity and location of affordable homes
  • Approach to renewable energy developments
  • Coastal management policies

We are also taking the opportunity to update the Design Guide and Landscape Character Assessment documents which are important tools used in the decision making process. We will be seeking views on all of this in the First Draft Local Plan consultation period early next year.

The recommended new and revised development management policies will be considered by the Planning Policy and Built Heritage Working Party in the Autumn.

Identifying development sites for consultation

Work is ongoing to identify preferred sites for other uses such as employment.


Further work continues to update the evidence that will support the Plan at examination (see Stage 6). All published evidence can be found in the Document Library.

Local Plan Workshops

Town Council Workshops

In May and June 2016 Local Plan Workshops were held with each Town Council in North Norfolk, and Hoveton. The purpose of the workshops was to raise awareness of the Local Plan review in the main settlements, discuss very early scenarios around the location and quantity of future development, to identify issues and opportunities, and a vision for those areas, and to enable general discussion.

Local Plan Viability Workshop

A stakeholder event took place on the 29 August 2018 which brought together members of the development industry with an interest in North Norfolk. The purpose of the workshop was to review the findings of the emerging Local Plan Viability Study with key stakeholders. The study assesses the impacts of proposed policies in the emerging Local Plan, particularly relating to the development of new housing sites.

Parish and Town Council Events

Two events aimed at Parish and Town Councils took place on Tuesday 30 October and Thursday 1 November 2018 at the Council offices. The events provided a briefing on the emerging Local Plan content including key policy areas such as the housing strategy, distribution of growth, affordability, development viability, and housing construction standards. The events also exhibited a range of emerging development sites which are proposed for public consultation in the Draft Local Plan.

The events provided the opportunity for Parish Council’s to discuss issues with the Local Plan team during a drop-in session, and to ask questions about the process during the presentation. The workshops were attended by approximately 90 people representing 60 Parish and Town Councils.

Member Site Visits

Throughout the process of preparing the Plan, Working Party and other Members have been provided with the opportunity to visit specific sites so as to inform their decisions. Site visits took place in Winter 2015 and Autumn 2016 where the aim was to orientate members to a range of early candidate sites. In Spring 2018 members were taken on a series of site visits to the locations where new development is being planned for. The visits were organised in advance of agreeing the preferred sites for inclusion in the First Draft Local Plan consultation document. 

Invitations to join the site tours were sent to applicable County Council, Parish / Town Council and other District Councillors of which many were in attendance. These events provided positive early engagement, allowing local feedback into the selection process.

Last updated: 14th January 2019