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In this stage we continued 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 appraised a range of policy and site options before identifying our preferred choices for inclusion in the First Draft Local Plan consultation document. The consultation shows all alternative options considered - this enables people to see why a particular approach has been chosen.

What we have agreed…

Of a number of potential options, the following preferred approaches have been agreed and have informed the First Draft Local Plan consultation document:

  • The distribution of development across North Norfolk based on the following settlement hierarchy: 1) Large Growth Towns, 2) Small Growth Towns, 3) Large Growth Villages, 4) Small Growth Villages, 5) Countryside.
  • Delivery of 10,500 to 11,000 new homes over the 20 year plan period (4,500 homes on new allocated development sites), of which around 2,000 should be affordable homes.
  • Retention of 170 hectares of employment land and allocation of 50 hectares of new employment land to help support the economy.
  • Protection of 300 hectares of green spaces including play areas, sports grounds and other important areas of land.
  • 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.
  • Specific policies in relation to: accommodation needs of elderly people, affordable housing, housing construction standards, development viability, flooding, renewable energy developments, green infrastructure, protection of green spaces, coastal management, community-led development and more.

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

The content for the Local Plan has been agreed at various stages through the Planning Policy & Built Heritage Working Party. You can view all agendas, reports and minutes of these meetings.

Identifying development sites for consultation

A range of provisional housing and employment 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 Local Plan settlement hierarchy.

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.

Evidence gathering

To inform and shape the content of the Local Plan, a range of evidence has been prepared. The studies, strategies, programmes and statistics that make up the evidence base help us to understand the area in which we live and work, including how it has changed or could change in the future. The evidence base is crucial to producing a robust Local Plan for North Norfolk.

Paragraph 31 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states:

'The preparation and review of all policies should be underpinned by relevant and up-to-date evidence. This should be adequate and proportionate, focused tightly on supporting and justifying the policies concerned, and take into account relevant market signals.'

All currently published evidence can be found in the Document Library. Work is ongoing to update the evidence that will support the Plan at examination (see Stage 6).

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: 24th May 2019