How long does it take to adopt a local plan?

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government track progress of local plans for local planning authorities in England. DLA’s analysis of this data has found that local plans:

  • Take an average of 19 months to adopt from the point of final publication, with the slowest being 45 months and the fastest being 7 months.
  • Take longer to adopt now than they did prior to the introduction of the NPPF in 2012.

There are several factors that cause delays to plan-making, including resources, politics, and policy and legislative changes. But the analysis found some regional variations:

  • London boroughs take less time to adopt local plans than in those in the city-region areas of the North West and West Midlands.
  • Authorities in the eastern areas of England – such as the North East, East, and Yorkshire-Humber – take less time compared with the rest of the country.

However, the data does not include the time taken for early consultation stages, such as issues and options and preferred options stages, and therefore the data is limited and does not provide a true understanding of the time taken to adopt a local plan.

You can read the analysis here.