Local Plan Evidence Base

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. PAS published a note setting out advice and matters to be considered when collating evidence in support of a local plan in February 2020 and offers support as an independent and critical friend. We also have webpages on Sustainability Appraisal and Monitoring.

Preparing a Local Plan is a complex project. It involves a number of stages and associated tasks. One of the fundamental tasks is the scoping, preparation and creation of up-to-date evidence. A clear, concise relevant and proportionate evidence base is a cornerstone of efficient and sound plan-making. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the requirement for the preparation and review of all policies to be "underpinned by relevant and up-to-date evidence".

This is arguably the most resource intensive and time-consuming part of the plan making process. PAS published a note in 2020 setting 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”. We are helping councils with an evidence base audit (what’s still relevant, needs updating etc.), reviewing the overall approach to scoping, creating and interpreting the evidence base, and providing a view on its fitness for purpose. Plus reviewing and providing advice on specific/specialist evidence base topics or providing advice to stakeholders e.g. members. Many councils find the PAS support a useful and complementary addition to their plan making activity: Support for Plan Making, Review and Update.

We also have webpages on Sustainability Appraisal and Monitoring - see side bar for links.