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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.

On 25 June 2019 Dorset Council cabinet agreed to stop progressing work on the Local Plan Reviews for the former District Councils with the exception of Purbeck Local Plan 2019-2034, which is currently at examination.  The council has begun work on a new Dorset-wide Local Plan.  Where possible, information and evidence gathered as part of the review of the former District Council local plans will be used to inform the new Dorset Local Plan.

Planning Policy News

Land availability 'call for sites'

The council is carrying out a 'call for sites' to identify sites that may have potential for development over the next 15 years and beyond.  If you own or part own any site(s) larger than 0.3 ha in size or with a site capacity of 10 dwellings or greater, that may have development potential, please let us know.  To be assessed sites will need to be submitted by Friday 25th October 2019.

Sustainability Appraisal

A Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report has been prepared.  The purpose of the Sustainability Appraisal process is to ensure that the Dorset Local Plan achieves sustainable development by ensuring that the key environmental social and economic issues are considered throughout the making of the Dorset Local Plan.

The scoping stage marks the first stage in the Sustainability Appraisal process. The scoping stage involves identifying the key environmental, social and economic issues for the Dorset Local Plan which are then used to develop a series of sustainability objectives, which are later used as criteria to assess the emerging Local Plan.

Statement of Community Involvement

We have drafted a statement of community involvement that sets out how and when we will consult and engage the community as part of our planning duties.  Planning duties include both plan making (such as local plan production) and making decisions on planning applications.  A public consultation closed in August 2019 and the draft SCI will now been taken to the next available Cabinet.

Local Development Scheme (LDS)

We have adopted a Local Development Scheme (LDS). The LDS was agreed by Dorset Council's Cabinet on 25 June 2019. This document sets out the timetable for the production of the Dorset Council Local Plan and other planning policy documents within the Dorset Council area.

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.

Planning policy areas

Whilst work is being progressed on a new local plan for Dorset, the existing planning policy documents will still apply to the areas they covered previously.

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

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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