Evidence for Plan Making: A focus upon proportionality – February 2020

The appropriate focus and detail of evidence required to support a local plan will vary from for different places and will require planners to make professional judgements to assess an area and develop a plan appropriate to its own circumstances. This note sets out advice and information that should be considered when collating evidence to support a local plan. It is designed for LPAs to use themselves but we can work with local authorities to use it as a “critical friend”.

There are many examples where the production of plans has resulted in disproportionate and unfocused amounts of evidence which can lead to confusion, delay and increased costs of plan making and time at examination. There are also examples of good practice indicating how effective plan production can be undertaken.  PAS has worked closely with a number of local authorities and other organisations to produce this advice note and highlight examples of good practice of focused and proportionate local plan evidence. 

This note sets out advice and matters to be considered when collating evidence in support of a local plan.

Regard has been had to national policy, existing available guidance and practical experience.

Section 1 summarises the legislative and policy background to plan making (particularly useful to less experienced readers/practitioners);

Section 2 addresses the importance and nature of evidence with case study examples; and

Section 3 provides a suggested methodology for proportionate evidence gathering to support plan production.

The Framework provides the national policy context and structure for plan production. Mindful of this structure, best practice illustrates the successful way in which good, focused and relevant evidence can inform the content and policies of a sound plan.

PAS evidence for plan making (PDF 2MB)



This advice note relates to the PAS Local Plan Route Mapper & Toolkit to support authorities to review, manage and carry out the update of a Local Plan. 

It is designed for LPAs to use themselves but we can work with local authorities to use it as a “critical friend” with an advisor from our team of experienced local authority peers or our team of consultants.