Local Development Framework

What is the LDF?

Since 2004 local authorities have had to change how they prepare and implement the strategies and plans for their areas. Every council with planning responsibility now has a statutory duty to produce a Local Development Framework (LDF), through which it controls the future development of its area.

It cannot do this on its own. It has to work in partnership with central government, the regional planning authority (in Ealing's case, the London Mayor), with the public, private and voluntary sectors within its areas and with neighbouring authorities - and with the direct input of the local community. Moreover, its plan has to pass scrutiny by the independent Planning Inspectorate to ensure that it has been prepared in accordance with statutory guidelines and has met all the tests of "soundness".

The LDF is not a single document, but a collection of local development documents which together deliver the spatial planning strategy for the area. It includes a project plan (the Local Development Scheme), a statement of community involvement, a range of detailed "supplementary planning documents", and an annual monitoring system. A key element is the regional "Core Strategy", which for Ealing is the Mayor's London Plan.

Ealing's draft plan, Ealing 2026, has reached its second stage with the legally required public consultation on the strategy document. The timetable for approval of this has already slipped from April 2010, but it has to be ready to submit to the Planning Inspectorate in 2011, after the final round of consultation.

Key planning diagram from the 2026 Development Strategy

Previous items

6.11.2011: SEC proposes neighbourhood plans

6.2.2011: LDF Update

15.10.2009: LDF comments

Neighbourhood plans inch forward

Local planning for the town centres of Ealing Broadway and West Ealing has come a step closer, as Ealing Council has backed SEC's wish to start the process and has applied to the Government on our behalf for 'frontrunner' funding for two Neighbourhood Forums to prepare plans for the two areas.

The new Localism Act gives local communities the right to have more say in decisions that affect their neighbourhoods. If they choose, they can set up a 'Neighbourhood Forum' to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan to 'decide where new houses, businesses or shops should go and what they will look like'. Local authorities will have to support their preparation and local people would then vote on the plan.

Neighbourhood Forums should have at least 21 members, be representative of the local community and be open to new members.

Save Ealing's Centre supports these new powers because we think Ealing town centre will be a better place if everyone has a chance to say what it should be like and be involved in improving it. We have proposed to the Council that, together with local business organisations like the Ealing BID Company, we should start work on two separate neighbourhood plans - one for Ealing and one for West Ealing.

Our 'Vision for Ealing' already sets out SEC's ideas about many of the key areas. However the Vision is now rather out of date as we published it over three years ago, and much has changed since. We are therefore in the process of reviewing it. When revised, it will be a major element in helping to decide the future shape of our town centres within the emerging Local Development Framework.

9 December 2011