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Find out more about the Emerging Local Plan

The new Local Plan will provide the planning policy context for development across the whole of North Norfolk for the period 2016 - 2036. The main elements which will form the single Plan document are:

  • Strategic Policies - These provide the overarching approach to development in North Norfolk, such as where and how much development should take place, and also set the long-term spatial vision, objectives and key policies.
  • Development Management Policies - These cover specific topic areas such as affordable housing, tourism, coastal erosion, and protecting the natural and built environment, and are used in the determination of individual planning applications.
  • Site Allocations - Sets out detailed policies for the development of individual sites to help meet the aims of strategic policies.
  • Policies Map - Shows geographically where policies apply.

The process to produce the new Local Plan is expected to take around 3 years to complete.

Why is a Local Plan needed?

The Local Plan is needed to ensure that we plan positively for the development and infrastructure that communities need, setting out the strategic priorities for North Norfolk to 2036. This includes policies to deliver:

  • housing, including affordable homes;
  • retail, leisure and other commercial development;
  • infrastructure for transport, minerals, waste, energy, telecoms, water supply and sewage treatment;
  • education, health, police and community facilities;
  • energy, including from renewable sources;
  • protection and enhancement of the natural and historic environment, including landscape, wildlife, open space, listed buildings and archaeology; and
  • protection of homes and property from flooding from rivers and the sea.

The government expects local authorities to have up-to-date plans in place to guide development within their area and to plan for the infrastructure, homes and jobs that our residents need. Failure to have an up-to-date plan could risk government intervention and a resulting loss of local control of the process. Having an up-to-date plan in place means that we retain control over where development should be located rather than it being delivered in an ad hoc way as a result of speculative development, sometimes without sufficient benefit to local communities.

In addition, North Norfolk has specific topics to address such as being an important tourism destination, areas of outstanding natural beauty, environmentally sensitive areas, coastal erosion, the acute need for affordable housing, and how to provide accommodation to meet the needs of an older population. The policies contained in the new Local Plan will set out the requirements that we expect to be provided by those undertaking development.

What is the process for preparing a Local Plan?

For further information please view the Local Plan Process.

What is the timeline for preparing the Local Plan?

The process to produce the new Local Plan commenced in May 2015 and is anticipated to be completed in late 2020. The current timeline for preparing the plan can be viewed on the Local Development Scheme page.

How can I get involved?

The Local Plan is nearing its first public consultation stage and this will provide an opportunity for people to comment on its content. Those wishing to be notified of the consultation should consider signing up to the Local Plan Consultation Database as a consultee. The feedback from the First Draft Local Plan consultation will help to draft a Final Draft Local Plan which will again be put to public consultation.

If you have specific issues that are planning related and should be addressed by the Local Plan you can contact us at

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Planning Help website provide some useful advice for anyone wanting to get involved with the Local Plan. Visit their Local Plans getting involved page for further information.