Local Development Scheme

Our Local Development Scheme sets out our programme for the preparation of Local Development documents over a three-year period. It is created to keep you informed about what documents we’ll be producing and when we’ll be actively looking to engage with the community and relevant stakeholders to help inform the plan making process. You can read the scheme in full below.

For more information about our approach to community engagement, please read our Statement of Community Involvement. We also publish an annual monitoring report which includes information on our progress towards the objectives set out in the Local Development Scheme.

Latest Local Development Scheme

View/download the below Local Development Scheme 2024 – 2027 as a word doc

1. Introduction

This Local Development Scheme (LDS) forms part of the Development Plan for Tamworth and sets out our programme for the preparation of Local Development Documents (LDDs) between 2024 and 2027. The purpose of this document is to let you know about our progress with the plan-making process and upcoming opportunities to get involved.

Producing an LDS is currently a requirement under the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended). Guidance on their preparation states that the LDS should specify the development plan documents, and other documents, which will be part of the development plan for the area. The LDS should be kept up to date, so that local communities and interested parties can keep track of progress, and should be published on the Council’s website.

2. Summary of current Local Development Documents

Development Plan Documents
The following documents are considered to be Development Plan Documents.

Tamworth Borough Council Local Plan 2006-2031
The local plan was adopted in February 2016 and, along with the proposals map, is the main document of Tamworth’s development plan. It sets out the policies and guidance that help to shape new development in Tamworth up to 2031 and allocates parts of the town for new homes and employment land required to meet local needs.

Saved Policies of the Tamworth Local Plan 2001-2011
The majority of the policies in the old local plan (Local Plan 2001-2011) have been superseded by the policies contained within the current local plan (2006-2031) with the exception of policy EMP7 Working from Home which remains in effect.

The Local Plan and saved policy apply to the whole of the borough.

A review of the local plan was undertaken in 2020 and it was determined that, although the plan is generally still in accordance with national policy and is performing relatively well, some changes would be needed to make sure it continues to comply with national policy and to reflect changes in local priorities. It was therefore determined that the level of changes required were significant enough to warrant producing a new plan rather than a partial update to the existing Plan.

Work has begun on a new local plan and an indicative timetable for work on that plan up to 2027 is set out later in this document.

Other Local Development Documents and Supplementary Planning Documents
The following documents are not considered to be Development Plan Documents but are still an important part of the development plan for Tamworth.

Statement of Community Involvement (SCI)
The SCI sets out our approach to involving the community and other stakeholders in producing Local Development Documents and assessing planning applications.

The SCI must be reviewed at least every five years. The previous version was published in September 2022. Although it has been less than five years since the previous version was published, we have recently reviewed and updated the document to reflect a revised approach to developing a new local plan. The latest version was published in February 2024.

The SCI applies to the whole of the borough.

The SCI will be kept under review to ensure it remains relevant and up to date.

Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document
The latest Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted on 01 August 2018.

The document is intended to provide greater clarity and certainty to developers, landowners, the community and the Council by setting out how we will seek to collect contributions from developers to support the delivery of appropriate infrastructure in Tamworth.

The document applies to the whole of the borough.

An updated version of the document will be included as part of the work to develop the new local plan, but the document will be kept under review in case an earlier update is needed.

Design Supplementary Planning Document
The production of the Design SPD was included in the 2018 – 2021 LDS and the document was adopted in July 2019.

The document sets out key guidelines to be followed when developing in Tamworth and seeks to raise the quality of the built environment (including the historic environment) by ensuring that high standards of design are achieved. It also provides guidance to assist applicants in complying with the requirements of historic environment policies set out in the local plan and provides guidance on how the Council expects the historic environment to be taken into account in the development management process.

The document applies to the whole of the borough.

An updated version of the document will be included as part of the work to develop the new local plan to ensure that it is in line with up to date guidance.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
The CIL Charging Schedule came into effect on 01 August 2018 and sets out the various chargeable rates for development on which the levy is collected. Money collected through the levy will contribute to the costs of infrastructure projects to support the development of Tamworth. The CIL is closely linked to the Planning Obligations SPD and the Infrastructure Delivery Plan and applies to the whole of the borough with geographical exceptions applying to certain forms of development.

The CIL Charging Schedule should be subject to periodic review and this will take place as part of the wider process of delivering the new local plan. A period of consultation and an examination in public will be required before changes can be made the rates set out in the CIL Charging Schedule, and this is likely to happen at a similar time to the examination of the new local plan.

3. New Local Development Documents

Development Plan Documents
During the timeframe covered by this LDS, it is intended to produce a new local plan for Tamworth to replace the current adopted plan with a new development strategy, site allocations and development management policies.

The indicative timetable in Appendix A is based on the best information available at this time and will be updated at a later date if more up to date information becomes available.

Other Local Development Documents and Supplementary Planning Documents
It is intended to review the existing SPDs and the CIL Charging Schedule as part of the development of the new local plan for Tamworth. A timetable for their review/update is included in appendix A.

4. Joint working/duty to cooperate

It is the Councils intention to continue to engage with both Lichfield and North Warwickshire councils to address any issues that can’t be dealt with within the borough. The three local authorities have already committed to co-operate on strategic planning issues to deliver the unmet housing and employment needs identified in the adopted local plan through a statement of common ground.

Where there are opportunities to work with the neighbouring councils (or other relevant bodies, such as Staffordshire County Council and Warwickshire County Council) to collect evidence to support the new local plan, we’ll look to take them, especially where it would save money.

The Council is also a non-constituent member of the West Midlands Combined Authority and so will be required to work with other members of the Combined Authority on issues which could affect the wider Combined Authority area.

5. Resources

The main resource required to deliver the work programme is officer time. The following table sets out the proportion of their time that the existing officers will contribute towards delivering the programme.

Officer Role % of officer time
Assistant Director Growth and Regeneration 5%
Planning Policy and Delivery Team Leader 80%
Planning Policy and Delivery Officer 90%
Planning Assistant (temporary) 90%
Monitoring and Information Officer 70%
Development management Service team Input as required

Due to the small size of the existing Planning Policy and Delivery team, there is limited capacity within the team to carry out the local plan development work alongside other commitments and there is no capacity to deal with any unexpected absences. The size of the team has therefore been temporarily increased to help meet demand and be more resilient.

Consultants will also need to be engaged on specific projects where there is a requirement for specialist skills or knowledge.

There is a budget identified for the development of a new local plan of £10,000 per year for the period covered by this LDS. Due to the work commencing later than expected, there remains approximately £215,000 held in a retained fund from previous years that will be used to supplement the existing budget.

The budget setting process for 2025/26 and beyond will need to include appropriate consideration of resources required to deliver the later stages of the local plan, including the examination in public. The costs associated with an examination are not easy to estimate as this point because they will depend on the complexity of the issues raised during the process.

8. Programme Management and Responsibilities

Management responsibilities for all areas of work are:

Assistant Director Growth and Regeneration (programme overview)

Planning Policy and Delivery Team Leader (day to day programme, staff & resource management).

The LDS and preparation of LDDs is reported to the Corporate Management Team meetings as appropriate.

Regular meetings are held between the Assistant Director Growth and Regeneration and the Planning Policy and Delivery Team Leader to ensure lines of communication are working and to review progress. E-mail and shared work directories are used to facilitate joint working and link all officers engaged on the project and a project team meeting is held on a regular basis.

9. Council Procedures and Reporting Protocols

The Council’s procedures and reporting protocols are set out in the Tamworth Borough Council Constitution which is updated periodically and is available to view online at https://democracy.tamworth.gov.uk/ecCatDisplayClassic.aspx?sch=doc&cat=13229&path=0.

10. Risk Assessment

In preparing the Local Development Scheme, it is considered that the main areas of risk relate to:

Staff resources
Having regard to the current staff levels there is a risk to the delivery of the work programme set out in the LDS should existing staff leave or there is a prolonged absence and the Council is unable to recruit appropriately qualified/experienced staff for cover or replacement. The Council has established good working relationships over the years with specialist consultants who have an understanding of the town but their support is subject to available budget allocations and procurement processes.

Political conflicts
Following the 2023 local elections, the Council is currently under no overall control. In an effort to reduce any potential conflict a cross-party working group has been established to seek early input from members and to guide the development of Development Plan Documents including the new local plan.

Capacity of PINS and other agencies to cope with demand nation-wide
Lack of availability of the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) or any other outside agency required to have input into the delivery of any aspects of the work programme has the potential to cause delays. This is not something which the Council can influence, however early warning will be given to PINS of any part of the work programme which is required to go through an examination.

Legal challenge
The risk of legal challenge will be minimised by ensuring that DPDs are “sound” and founded on a robust evidence base and well-audited stakeholder & community engagement systems.

Programme slippage
This will be affected if resources are not secured or they are reduced. Slippage of any planned part of the programme could have a knock-on effect on later parts of the programme. The programme attempts to ensure that the key milestones are not affected should there be a need to put contingency arrangements in place.

The impact of local elections and the associated pre-election period has already caused delays in the programme up to this point. In order to meet the Government deadline of 30 June 2025, it will be necessary to do as much as possible to prevent further delays. Careful planning of the timetable should help to mitigate this issue by avoiding key decisions or public consultations being required during pre-election and election periods.

Changes to relevant legislation and guidance
The Government has announced a number of proposed changes to the plan-making system and the transitionary arrangements related to them. This has resulted in the revised timetable in Appendix A in order for the Council to be able to meet the 30 June 2025 deadline for submission of a draft plan for examination.

There is still a significant amount of uncertainty around the proposed changes and the timeframe for their introduction. It is unlikely however that the June 2025 deadline will be moved forward and so, provided that progress is made in line with the timetable in Appendix A, the impact of the proposed changes is likely to be minimal.

Changes to national Government
With a general election likely to take place during 2024, there is a significant possibility of changes to national Government and their associated priorities. The potential impacts of this are unknown at this time and so are difficult to mitigate. Any potential changes will need to be considered and a decision made once more information is known.

Appendix A – Indicative Timetable

Document Preparation Stage LDS Target Date
  Pre-Submission (Regulation 19) consultation Early 2025
  Submission to PINS June 2025
  Adoption By 31 December 2026
Obligations Supplementary Planning Document Review and update as appropriate As required, by June 2025 at the latest
Design Supplementary Planning Document Review and update as appropriate As required, by June 2025 at the latest
Statement of Community Involvement Review/update As required, by February 2029 at the latest