How the Planning System works.

Legislation since 1947 requires Councils to produce a Land Use Plan.  Over the years this had had various names in this area, including the Greater Bradford Plan, the Unitary Development Plan, and the Revised Unitary Development Plan.  The Land Use plan system has been modified by both Labour and Conservative Governments since.  It has to conform with the National Planning Policy Framework.  The current land use planning system is called the Local Development Plan.

Bradford Council employ 2 types of planners.  There are Strategic Planners who research population growth pronections, traffic use, employment changes, and work out how many houses will be needed in the Plan’s period (the current plan lasts from 2013 to 2030). They also put forward what changes there need to be in that period , e.g. more or fewer houses, where employment land should be, which land should be for recreation, which for new highways, etc., and list policies connected with all uses, e.g. the distance between houses, the setback for extensions, and policies about conservation area, foorpaths, the environment, etc.  They produce a Core Strategy which includes all proposed changes during the period.  This Core Strategy has to be approved by a majority of Councillors and is then examined by an independent Planning Officer appointed from the national Planning Inspectorate.   The Planning Inspectorate deals with planning appeals, national infrastructure planning applications, examinations of local plans and other planning-related and specialist casework in England and Wales.

The Planning Inspectorate is an executive agency, sponsored by theDepartment for Communities and Local Governmentand theWelsh Government.


The second type of Planners are those who deal with Planning Applications.  They have to ensure that all developments conform with the Core Strategy.  They are better known as Development Control Planners.

All planning applications must conform with the Core Strategy.  One of the documents which make up the Local Plan is the Land Allocations DPD (Development Plan Document).  Currently this is being worked on.

How the Core Strategy affects Thornton

Policy H03 on page 172 in section 5.3. of the Core Strategy states that Thornton is designated a Local Growth Centre and 700 new dwellings will be built in Thornton in the period up to April 2030.  So the question is Where?

Prior to the compilation of the Core Strategic there were 3 “editions” of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, SHLAA.  The third edition showed land in Thornton, including some in the existing Green Belt, which would provide sufficient land for 1,400 houses. The Core Strategy defines the SHLAA as “The primary role of this assessment is to provide an indication of the scale, nature and distribution of potential housing land across the district. This involves identifying sites with potential for housing; assessing their capacity to accommodate houses; and determining having collected information about land ownership, development constraints and economic viability, whether and when the could be developed.”

The next stage is described on the page entitled BRADFORD COUNCIL’S DEVELOPMENT PLAN

(Updated 7 December 2017)