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Planning Policy

Planning policy facilitates housing, employment and infrastructure in the right places at the right time. It aims to protect the natural environment and provide a framework for decision making relating to development.

What the council changes mean for planning policy

As of 1 April 2019, there are 2 councils covering the Dorset area.

Dorset Council covers the areas that were formerly covered by:

  • East Dorset District Council

  • North Dorset District Council

  • Purbeck District Council

  • West Dorset District Council

  • Weymouth & Portland Borough Council

  • Dorset County Council (excluding the area covered by the former Christchurch Borough Council)

The former Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Borough Councils have merged to form the other. View their website.

The existing local plans

Whilst work is being progressed on a new local plan for Dorset, the adopted local plans will still apply to the areas they covered previously. Find out which Local Plan applies to your area.

There are also separate minerals plans and waste plans covering Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.

The emerging local plans

A new local plan for Dorset Council is being prepared.

Within the Dorset Council area there are also a number of other plans that are currently in development, which began before the creation of the new council:

Neighbourhood plans

A large number of neighbourhood plans have been made (adopted) in the Dorset Council area. These form part of the development plan for the area that they cover. Furthermore, there are a large number of emerging plans. See the neighbourhood plans in Dorset

Planning policy by area

For planning policy work in your area (including local plans, neighbourhood plans, community infrastructure levy (CIL):

Select the area on a map

To see the planning policy documents that apply to your area, select the area on the map.

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