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
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.
diagram from the 2026 Development Strategy
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