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Introduction

1.        In 2004, the system for preparing and delivering planning policy called the Local development framework (LDF) was introduced. As shown in figure 1, the LDF was made up of a family of policy documents to guide and manage development in the city. This family of documents included:

  • Procedural documents setting out our timetable for producing the LDF (the Local development scheme), how we will consult people about it (the Statement of community involvement) and how successfully it is being implemented (the Annual monitoring report and other regular monitoring reports); 

  • Development plan documents (now more usually called Local Plans setting out detailed planning policies and proposals for the city and the wider Norwich area. For Norwich these are the Joint core strategy for Broadland, Norwich and South Norfolk (referred to throughout this document as the JCS), the Development management policies local plan (the DM policies plan), the Site allocations and site specific policies local plan (the Site allocations plan), the Policies map and the Northern city centre area action plan (NCCAAP); and 

  • Supplementary planning documents giving more detailed advice about how particular policies will work in practice.

2.        This system has since been reviewed by the present government and the local development framework “family of documents” concept is being phased out. Instead, local planning authorities must produce a “local plan” for their area, although the local plan in practice may consist of more than one published document.

3.        The two main planning documents for Norwich are a DM policies plan containing general policies applying across the whole city (this document), and a Site allocations plan, which sets out more detailed, site specific policies and proposals for individual change sites. 

4.        These two main planning documents dovetail together and will be complemented by the existing adopted area action plan for the Northern City centre (which will remain in force until 2016) and a limited number of supplementary planning documents. The adopted JCS sets the strategic context for all of these documents and is itself a local plan and part of the development plan for Norwich. Within this document, the umbrella term “the development plan” will be used to refer to all the relevant local plans which will apply in Norwich, including this one. The documents making up the development plan are shown in Figure 1. 

5.        This DM policies plan is part of the development plan for Norwich. This plan, alongside the Site allocations plan, supersedes the previous local plan (City of Norwich replacement local plan 2004) in its entirety and will provide local strategy and policies to manage the development of Norwich up to 2026. No policies in the NCCAAP or the JCS, which remain adopted, are superseded by the DM policies plan or the Site allocations plan.

6.        The council’s vision, objectives and strategic policies on important issues such as housing, employment and shopping are set out in the JCS, prepared jointly by Broadland District, Norwich City and South Norfolk Councils, with Norfolk County Council (see vision and objectives section below). The JCS was adopted in March 2011 with amendments adopted in January 2014. It is also a local plan forming part of the development plan for Norwich. The local policies in the DM policies plan (applying to the city of Norwich alone) must be consistent with those strategic policies, objectives and priorities of the JCS.

7.        Amendments to the JCS to address a legal challenge were adopted in January 2014. The amendments include a flexibility policy to promote housing delivery if necessary, policy 22. The policy requires that if there is a significant shortfall of housing supply affecting the Broadland part of the Norwich Policy Area (NPA) shown in the first two annual monitoring reports produced after adoption of the JCS, the councils will produce a focussed local plan identifying appropriate sites in the whole of the NPA to remedy the shortfall. Priority will be given to sites in Norwich ahead of those elsewhere in the NPA in accordance with the settlement hierarchy set out in paragraph 6.2 of the JCS.

8.        However, it is unlikely that such a process, if required, would identify significant new sites in Norwich to allocate for housing in addition to those already allocated through the Site allocations plan. This is the result partly of the need to retain land for other uses such as retailing and employment to support Norwich's role as a regional centre, and partly to ensure a good quality of life for residents, such as open spaces. It is also a consequence of the fact that rapid development in Norwich in the early years of the century means that there is a diminishing supply of land available for further housing development within the tightly bounded Norwich City Council area (7,067 dwellings were built in Norwich from 2001 to 2012, more than half of the dwellings built in the NPA).

9.        A significant shortfall in housing supply would nevertheless have some implications for this plan since it would need to be given substantial weight in the assessment of other proposals for new housing considered under policies DM12 and DM13 and any proposals which would result in the loss of housing or land allocated or committed for housing development (policy DM15).

10.      Alongside the Site allocations plan, this document provides detailed planning policies to help deliver the JCS and to guide how the council responds to planning applications for new development in the city. Reference is made to the JCS throughout the plan. The document also includes policies on locally specific issues not already covered by national policy or the JCS.

Development Plan for Norwich

11.      To accompany this document the council has produced a Policies map showing where various policies of this plan and allocations within the Site allocations plan apply. It also illustrates the policies of the NCCAAP, which remains adopted.


[1] It should be noted that in comparison with previous drafts of this plan, the terms Development Plan Document and DPD have generally been replaced by local plan throughout the plan text and also in its title, following the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate. The terms have however been retained where they occur within the body of policies.