NPPF 2021 Local Plan Route Mapper & Toolkit - reviewing and updating local plan policies

The Local Plan Route Mapper & Toolkit provides practical advice and tools to undertake a Local Plan review, project plan, 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”.

Local Plan Route Mapper & Toolkit - Oct 2021

The PAS Local Plan Route Mapper & Toolkit is freely available for LPAs to use to undertake a review and update of local plan policies. It was most recently updated in Autumn 2021 to align with NPPF 2021.

All local planning authorities are required to review and, if necessary, update their local plan policies within five years of adoption, if not sooner.  We have produced advice and a toolkit to help guide you through the process of reviewing and, where needed, updating your local plan, whether this is a partial or full update.  But we have gone one step further and having taken the opportunity to provide a resource for you which covers all of the stages of plan-making. The aim is to provide you with resources which allow you to demonstrate that your local plan review has been undertaken in a a robust and objective way, and if updating your plan, an approach which is efficient and effective so that you have more time to focus on developing a quality plan that you can be proud of.

The advice (in the form of a Local Plan Route Mapper) and the toolkit replace our legal compliance and soundness checklists and provide an up-to-date and comprehensive resource to help you navigate through the local plan review and update process.  We would strongly encourage you to read the Route Mapper before you start using the toolkit itself as it includes helpful support on the different steps of plan-making as well as case studies and top-tips from industry experts, all of whom have practical local-plan making experience.

PAS local plan route mapper


PAS Local Plan Route Mapper v1



The toolkit has been piloted with a number of local authorities to make sure that it is robust and to make sure that it can be used whatever your plan-making circumstances may be. It comes in four parts covering the following:


Part 1:  Local Plan Review Assessment



Part 2: Local Plan Form and Content Checklist




Part 3: Local Plan Process Requirements Checklist




Part 4: Local Plan Soundness and Quality Assessment



Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the toolkit should be used as a continual ‘sense-check’ as you progress through the various stages of the plan-making process rather than something to use at the point of submitting your plan for Examination – if there is anything that you have missed at that stage it may be too late to rectify.

We want to make sure that the Route Mapper and toolkit are seen as a ‘live’ resource and one that continues to provide a practical source of advice for local planning authorities.  Part of this includes sharing best practice so if you have any ‘top tips’ or case studies that you can share or any questions about using the toolkit we would like to hear from you either via a specific PAS Discussion forum (link to be added) or via an email to [email protected] . 

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

PAS published a note on Evidence for Plan Making to accompany the route mapper in 2020.