What is the Local Plan?

The Local Plan is a set of documents containing the policies and programmes which guide the development and use of land in the National Park. Policies within the Local Plan also have clear links to the Northumberland National Park Management Plan. These policies are used to inform decisions on planning applications and appeals. Northumberland National Park Authority is responsible for preparing, monitoring, implementing and reviewing the Local Plan.


Why does Northumberland National Park need a Local Plan?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was first introduced in 2012 and sets out national planning policies for England. The government has since revised the NPPF with new versions being published in July 2018 and February 2019.

The online National Planning Practice Guidance which provides further detail on how the NPPF should be implemented has also been updated. Both can be viewed on this website.

Local planning authorities (including National Park Authorities) are required to produce a Local Plan which has to be fully in accordance with national planning policy and guidance.

Local Plan documents

Find out more

Core Strategy and Development Policies

These policies, adopted in March 2009, guide development within the National Park and are used in the determination of planning applications.

The Northumberland National Park Core Strategy and Development Policies – PDF File

Core Strategy Map North – PDF File

Core Strategy Map South – PDF File

Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)

The Statement of Community Involvement outlines how the National Park Authority will involve local communities and other stakeholders in developing policy documents which have an impact on the National Park and in making decisions on planning applications.

Useful documents

The Northumberland National Park Authority (NNPA) adopted its current Statement of Community Involvement on 20th September 2017. You can view this document via the link below.

Hard-copies of the SCI are available for inspection at the Northumberland National Park Authority Headquarters, Eastburn, South Park, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 1BS

For further information, please contact our Policy Team  Tel: 01434 605555

Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs)

These provide detailed guidance on specific issues or areas. The Northumberland National Park Local Plan contains three adopted Supplementary Planning Documents:

The Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (2011) – PDF File

The Landscape Supplementary Planning Document (2011) – PDF File

Otterburn Camp Supplementary Planning Document (2007) – PDF File

Local Development Scheme

This is the production timetable outlining what documents will be produced and when.

Northumberland National Park Authority Local Development Scheme 2018-2020 – PDF File

Northumberland National Park Authority Local Development Scheme 2017-2019 – PDF File

Local Plan Review

The current Local Plan (Local Development Framework Core Strategy and Development Policies document) was adopted in 2009.

The Local Plan sets out policies to guide future development in the National Park and is the starting point when we make a decision on planning applications. It covers issues such as; house extensions, design, the environment, listed buildings, housing, business, farming, tourism, quarrying, and land for development.

A lot has changed since we adopted our current local plan and we are now going through the process of reviewing it. The aim of the review is to produce a new Local Plan that will guide future development and land use within the National Park over the next twenty years.

When reviewing the Local Plan, the authority needs to ensure that the interests of all those affected by planning decisions made in the future are taken into account and that decisions are made in the wider public interest.

The first consultation of the Local Plan review (Spring 2017) offered residents, communities, visitors, businesses and other organisations an opportunity to tell us their views on how the new local plan should guide future development within the National Park.

The Issues Consultation Paper set out the likely planning issues the new local plan would potentially need to address.

Consultation Draft Local Plan Issues Paper – PDF File

A report summarising the response to this consultation has been prepared and can be viewed using the link at the end of this page.

Following the Issues paper consultation, a Policy Options Paper was consulted on in autumn/winter 2017. This began to suggest a potential direction of travel for policy formulation.

Local Plan Policy Options Paper – PDF File

Subsequently, the outcomes from both of these consultations plus updated evidence led to the production of a Preferred Options Draft Plan which was also subject to public consultation between July and September 2018. This draft plan can be viewed below.

Northumberland National Park Authority Local Plan Preferred Options Draft Plan 2018 – PDF File

You can find out more about the timetable for the Review and how you can get involved by viewing the Local Development Scheme above. We are also currently collecting evidence which will inform the local plan and this will be published below in due course.

Local Plan Background Evidence and Research

Planning policy must be based on robust evidence and a good understanding of an area and its issues. Below is a library of the evidence and research which informs the National Park’s adopted planning policies and emerging policies of the local plan review. We will publish updated Local Plan evidence on this page in due course.

Policy Themes

Community Facilities and Infrastructure

Housing and Employment

Natural Environment

Northumberland National Park Natural Environment Vision 2014-35 – PDF File

Landscape Character Assessment 2007 – The Landscape Character Assessment is being updated and will be published in due course.

Northumberland Strategic Flood Risk Assessment – Level 1 – September 2010 – PDF File

Northumberland Strategic Flood Risk Assessment – Level 2 – October 2015 – PDF File

NNPA Mid and North Northumberland Strategic Flood Risk Assessment – Level 1 (2008) – PDF File

NNPA Mid and North Northumberland Strategic Flood Risk Assessment – Level 1 (2008) – Appendix B – PDF File

NNPA Mid and North Northumberland Strategic Flood Risk Assessment – Level 2 Maps (2008) – PDF File

NNPA and Tynedale District Joint Strategic Flood Risk Assessment South (2009) – PDF File

NNPA and Tynedale District Joint Strategic Flood Risk Assessment South (2009) – Map – PDF File

Minerals and Waste

North East Local Aggregates Assessment 2018 – PDF File

North East England Waste Arisings and Waste Management Capacity Study 2012 – PDF File

NNP Geodiversity Audit and Action Plan 2007 – PDF File

Mineral resource Information – Northumberland – Tyne & Wear – PDF File

Environmental Reports

The latest preliminary draft environmental assessment reports that have been produced to support the preparation of the Local Plan are available to view or download via the links below:

Policy Options stage (Autumn 2017)

Issues stage (Spring 2017)

Preferred Options Draft Plan (Summer 2018)

Viability Assessment Reports

Monitoring and Implementation

NNP Local Plan Monitoring and Implementation Framework 2019 (Draft) – PDF File

Local Plan Consultation

The National Park Authority has completed three formal rounds of Local Plan consultation.

The first round of formal public consultation related to an Issues Paper and was undertaken in the Spring of 2017. The Issues Paper and a feedback report on this consultation can be downloaded using the links below:

The second round of public consultation related to a Local Plan Policy Options Paper which concluded on Monday 11th December 2017. You can view the Policy Options Paper by clicking on the link below.

The third round of public consultation was on the Preferred Options Draft Plan and this concluded on Monday 24th September 2018. You can view the Draft Plan by clicking on the link below. A consultation feedback report will also be available to view on this webpage in due course.

Prior to the statutory formal consultation stage some informal public consultation was undertaken.

In the autumn of 2016, the National Park Authority worked in collaboration with local theatre company Cap-a-Pie and Newcastle University to host two workshops in the National Park (at Elsdon and Harbottle).

These workshops explored a new and innovative way of engaging local communities in planning through interactive theatre and encouraged positive discussions around a range of planning issues, providing further opportunity for the Authority to understand what was important to people in their local area. These workshops were generally well received by the local communities involved and also helped the Authority to signpost the forthcoming issues consultation on the Local Plan.

Find out more by reading the Town Meeting Booklet – PDF File

In addition, the Authority also consulted on three Local Plan supporting documents for a six-week period between the 3rd October until the 14th November 2016. This included:

  • the draft Statement of Community Involvement (SCI);
  • draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report;
  • and draft Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) Methodology.

The responses received regarding each of these consultation documents broadly endorsed the Authority’s approach. The updated Statement of Community Involvement was formally adopted by the Authority in September 2017.

Future public consultation

Public consultation on the Publication Draft Local Plan commenced on the 31st May 2019 for a six week period. All of the relevant consultation documents are now available on the local plan consultation webpage.