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Local Plans set out the big decisions on planning for the future of your community and land. They outline the long-term strategy for each planning authority.

England's planning system is designed to ensure that future development is always in the public interest.

Every local planning authority must create a Local Plan to guide the future development of their area. Future planning decisions must then be made in accordance with that plan. Consultation with neighbourhood organisations and business is a key part of creating Local Plans and making sure that they reflect the future needs of the whole community. Engaging in that consultation process is the best way to help shape the future development of your area.

Local Plans set out the strategic priorities for development of an area and cover housing, commercial, public and private development, including transport infrastructure, along with protection for the local environment. They comprise a series of documents that should set out clear guidance on what development will and won't be permitted in your area.

Local Plans set out the broad strategy for development in your area. They cannot tell you exactly what changes will happen in each neighbourhood.

Local Plans set out the big decisions on planning for the future...

Our eight-step plan shows you how to effectively engage with the creation of your Local Plan:

Get together with others; combine skills; speak to the right people at the right time.

The role of the evidence base for Local Plans and how to comment effectively.

Understanding the spatial strategy and the Sustainability Appraisal.

Local Plans are made up of several different documents and policies.

The version sent for independent examination.

How the Local Plan is examined and how you can take part in that process.

How the plan is approved and implemented.

Deciding at which stage to get involved in local planning can be confusing. This page explains which stage is appropriate for which aim or interest.