Planning policy

Planning policy provides the framework for local decision-making. It identifies where new homes, jobs, shops and essential infrastructure like schools, transport improvements and community facilities are to be provided.  It also recognises important constraints which will affect development as well as valued assets that should be protected like valued landscapes, ecology and heritage assets.

The Council is responsible for preparing Local Plans; these plans are important because they are legal documents that must be prepared by the Council and are used as the starting point against which decisions on planning applications are made.  All of the currently relevant adopted Local Plans prepared by Taunton Deane Borough Council can be found on the Adopted Local Plans webpage.  In summary, they are the:

The latest news on emerging Local Plans and other planning policies (including the Local Development Order for a new strategic employment site east of 25 of the M5 motorway) can be found on this page.

Local Plans are supported by a quite detailed evidence base which informs policy development and are usually consistent with national planning policy set out in the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework. The key components of the evidence base for the most recently adopted Local Plans: the Core Strategy and Site Allocations and Development Management Plans have been retained on the Adopted Local Plans page.  As new evidence is prepared for emerging Local Plans it will be added to the Emerging Local Plans page.

It is important to monitor the effectiveness of Local Plan policies.  We undertake regular monitoring of adopted plan policies including the completion of new homes, employment floorspace and retail.  More information can be found here.

Taunton Deane was one of the first Local Planning Authorities to introduce the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in April 2014.  The CIL is a tariff in the form of a standard charge, payable on certain types of development across the area.  The money generated from CIL is used to fund improvements and new infrastructure which development puts pressure on. 

Adopted Local Plans can often be supported by Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs).  These documents are prepared to support and amplify policies in Local Plans; providing greater detail and clarification of policies.  Currently in Taunton Deane there are four adopted SPDs:

A Local Development Scheme (LDS) acts a project plan or timetable for the production of Local Plans.  The latest LDS can be found here although it should be noted that this document is now somewhat out-of-date. The Council will update its local Development Scheme once a decision on the new Council has been made in Autumn 2017.

How the Council consults on the local plans it prepares is set out in a document called the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI).

The Council’s new strategic employment site, known as ‘Nexus 25’ is to be delivered through the use of a Local Development Order which was adopted on March 14th 2018.  This new development site, which is expected to provide for over 3500 relatively high value new jobs, will be accessed via the improved M5 Junction 25.

The Planning policy team is responsible for supporting the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans.  Neighbourhood Plans will upon adoption, form part of the development plan against which planning decisions are made, unlike Local Plans their preparation will be led by communities and not Taunton Deane Borough Council.  The Neighbourhood Plans webpage provides more details as well as information on each of the Neighbourhood Plans currently adopted or being prepared within the Borough.

We also maintain the Council’s Register of Interest in Self-Build and Custom House-building Projects