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Step 8: Adoption

How the plan is approved and implemented.

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Following the Examination, the inspector makes recommendations to the Secretary of State and local planning authority on whether the Local Plan is 'sound' and should be adopted or any changes made. The inspector may find the plan 'unsound' in which case the local planning authority cannot adopt it without further significant changes. This would require further consultation and a re-examination. The Secretary of State can also 'call in' the plan and suggest changes, which would also be consulted on.

Top tip

You can ask to be told when the plan is adopted or any recommended changes are published.

Implementation and monitoring

In the long run the Local Plan will be judged on how it is implemented on the ground, ultimately through planning applications and developments - delivery is the key to success.

The Local Plan's policies for key development sites may be supported by development briefs and master plans, which set out how sites should be developed. These may be adopted as Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) (see What the Local Plan contains). The local planning authority may also adopt SPDs on other issues, such as local requirements for community infrastructure.

Progress on implementing the Local Plan will be monitored and reported on by the local planning authority.

Get involved

Look out for planning applications or master plans which seek to implement the Local Plan, and get involved in influencing the quality of development in your area. For tips on responding to planning applications see how to comment on a planning application.You can also download a PDF of the publication How to Respond to Planning Applications from our resources section. If you'd like to get involved in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan, see the next section of this guide for an introduction.

Further reading

Neighbourhood Plans