Local Place Plans - FAQ's
1. Why might a community want to prepare a Local Place Plan (LPP)?
2. What is the Local Development Plan?
3. Who can prepare a Local Place Plan?
4. What boundaries should a Local Place Plan use?
5. What would be considered a proposal as to the development and use of land?
6. What are the fundamental requirements for a Local Place Plan?
7. What influence will a Local Place Plan have in the future planning of your area?
8. What will be the level of community engagement and consultation expected for a Local Place Plan?
9. What will be the process for registering a Local Place Plan?
10. Can a Local Place Plan be prepared now?
11. Can our community submit an existing plan?
The idea is for a local community to create and develop a plan through engaging with people living and working in that community, to identify their local needs, aspirations, and ambitions.
Dumfries and Galloway Council has created Local Place teams consisting of existing Planning Officers, Ward Officers, and Place Officers, who have the skills and expertise along with the trust and relationships of local communities to support the development of Local Place Plans. The teams are based in Annandale and Eskdale, Nithsdale, Stewartry and Wigtownshire.
Any community body deciding to create a plan can expect guidance and support from their Local Place team. Starting with an initial simple chat to discuss your thoughts and ideas; a single point of contact will be established to guide you throughout the development of their plan and help you navigate assistance from the Council and partners.
It is not compulsory for a community to develop a plan however, however a Local Place Plan will:
- help to identify the strengths and challenges of a place to determine what can stay the same and what needs to improve.
- help a community better understand the needs and aspirations of its people and creates opportunities to move this forward.
- help potential funders and investors better understand a community and how the cohesiveness of its various projects.
- be considered within the Local Development Plan, if registered by the Local Authority.
The Local Development Plan (LDP) is produced by the Council in consultation with the community and other partners. It sets out how and where land and property will be used in Dumfries and Galloway. The written policies in the LDP give guidance on all aspects of development, including when it will be supported and when it won't.
A LPP can be prepared for any community.
LPPs registered through Dumfries and Galloway Council must be prepared by a 'Community Body.' This can either be a 'community-controlled body' (as defined by the Community Empowerment Act 2015) or a Community Council.
If you are unsure whether your group qualifies as a 'Community Body', then this can be discussed with your Local Place Team following a submission of an Expression of Interest form.
However, while LPPs may only be prepared and submitted by a 'community-controlled body' and Community Council, conversation and engagement with the local community is essential in the development of an LPP. Your Local Place team will be able to advise you on this matter.
The Council's Local Place teams, alongside its partners, will assist in supporting the development of the LPP by providing guidance from the initial stages. We do not want to do things "to" communities but rather want to "work with" them so they can do it for themselves.
LPP should relate to a recognisable geographical area or a community united by a common characteristic, however, this may take many different forms. It will be for the community to identify, on a map, the area covered by the LPP.
For example, an acceptable boundary could be:
- Community Council Boundaries
- Towns or villages
- Individual neighbourhoods with settlements
Examples of what could be considered as development or use of land which might feature in a LPP could include things like:
- sites which support climate change adaptation, such as renewable energy or flood mitigation;
- local initiatives for the promotion of active travel and community food growing;
- sites for housing, including for affordable housing, new or retained local employment or new tourism/community facilities;
- retaining, improving, and expanding quality open space and green/blue infrastructure and play facilities;
- conservation of the natural/built environment;
- improvements in the town/neighbourhood centre;
- support for a national development, as featured in the National Planning Framework.
Matters which may not be defined as 'development' may also be important for a community. Examples of what would not normally be considered as development include:
- litter management and dog fouling;
- improvements to public transport (routes and timetables); and
- proposals which do not fundamentally impact on the long-term use of land, such as occasional activities/events using existing facilities, spaces and places.
Community Bodies will want to consider how these issues can be appropriately expressed in their LPP. For example, issues relating to litter and dog fouling could be raised as part of a general concern around the amenity of an area. There could also be scope for these issues to form an element of the additional information submitted by the Community Body.
For communities that have previously produced community-led plans, much of the advice and guidance around Local Place Plans will seem very familiar. The general way of preparing a LPP will not be all that different to how communities have already been preparing community-led plans. There are other legal requirements, however, for a community-led plan to be considered as an LPP.
In addition to the criteria above, the Community Body must have regard to the existing Local Development Plan for the area, the National Planning Framework and the Locality Plan. Your Local Place team will be able to advise you on this matter.
There are some procedural steps that must be undertaken before an LPP can be registered such as the need to notify councillors representing the area the LPP covers, the need to issue the proposed LPP for at least 28 days to local communities and their local representatives.
For a LPP to be registered, it must also contain a map which shows the land to which the Plan relates and a statement of the community body's proposals as to the development or the use of land in the area.
Though not a legal requirement, the Community Body may also want to refer to a range of other documents which can provide context and evidence for the LPP. Such documents (not an exhaustive list) might include:
- community-led plans which have been previously prepared;
- where no Locality Plan is in place, the Local Outcome Improvement Plan;
- other national/regional plans and strategies which may be relevant
- planning permissions which may have a significant impact on the LPP area.
A LPP should set out how the community would like their area to be reflected in the next Local Development Plan.
The Council is required to take registered LPPs into account when producing the Local Development Plan (LDP). The Council will replace the current LDP, with the early evidence gathering needed to inform that occurring in parallel with the LPP. To be included in being taken account of in the LDP a LPP Expression of interest would require to be submitted by end of July 2024.
Communities will still be able participate in all aspects of the planning process whether or not they wish to create a LPP.
We know that a good LPP can start with a simple conversation with as many members of the community as possible and asks for their views, aspirations and comments on all aspects of the quality of where they live. However, we would expect extensive community engagement and consultation through a variety of methods (such as surveys, face-to-face conversations, questionnaires) to inform any LPP put forward for registration with Dumfries and Galloway Council.
The National Standards for Community Engagement are the good-practice principles designed to guide the process of community engagement. We would encourage all groups creating a LPP to utilise the National Standards for Community Engagement when carrying out their community consultation.
The Place Standard Tool is our Council's recommended approach to community engagement around Place Planning. The tool asks 14 questions about all aspects of a Place - everything from health and green space to transport links, employability, community resilience and cohesion - to assist a community in identifying its strengths and as well as the challenges of a place that need to be targeted to improve the community's quality of life. The tool provides prompts for discussions, allowing you to consider all the elements of a place in a methodical way.
The Place Standard Tool Guidebook offers a more in-depth explanation of how the tool can be used. This guidebook is available here.
The Council's Local Place team can advise anyone interested in creating a LPP on how best to engage with your community.
The Community Body should consider:
- how to bring in the voices of all sectors of the community;
- who the proposals affect, either directly, or indirectly;
- what methods of engagement are appropriate for the community.
The online Place Standard tool is currently undergoing some essential maintenance and will be offline for a short while. We are really sorry for any inconvenience that this might cause. You can still access the Place Standard Tool in a PDF format:
Once you have considered representations received and made amendments to your LPP, you will need to submit it to the Council with an Information Notice. This will have to include the following information:
- Confirmation of your organisation's status, such as a written constitution;
- Contact details;
- Evidence of compliance with the procedural steps set out in the legislation (see above);
- An explanation of how you have had 'regard to' National Planning Framework (NPF), Local Development Plan (LDP) and the Locality Plan;
- A statement setting out if, why and how the LDP should be amended;
- Your view of the level and nature of support for the LPP. A statement setting out your reasoning is also required.
For a LPP to be accepted and considered valid, it must comply with the requirements mentioned above. LPPs submitted to the Council for registration will be reported to the Economy & Resources Committee.
The Council will provide advice on meeting these requirements to community groups that express an interest in producing a LPP.
Yes. If you would like to express interest in preparing such a plan, please fill out the Expression of Interest form.
If your community has previously produced a plan for your place which meets the requirements for LPPs it might be possible to use this as a basis for submission.
However, we will need to consider this plan in the context of Scottish Government regulations and guidance and the practicalities of doing this may vary on a case-by-case basis. Early discussion with the Council in such instances is therefore advisable. If this is an approach your community may choose to take, then you should still fill in the Expression of Interest form.