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1.1 The Bromley Unitary Development Plan (UDP) is a legal document which sets out the land-use policy framework used to determine applications for planning permission. The Council is required to prepare a Unitary Development Plan under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as interpreted in the Town and Country Planning (Development Plan Regulations) 1999. The plan covers the period up to 2016, though many of its proposals are likely to be implemented in the shorter term and the plan as whole reviewed before that date.

1.2 Good planning is a positive and proactive process, operating in the public interest through a system of plan preparation and control over the development and use of land. [PPS1 Para 2]. PPG12 makes it clear that planning decisions on proposals to build on land or change its use should not be arbitrary but must be considered against clearly set out criteria. The statutory development plan provides the primary basis for this consideration, though decisions must also take account of other material planning considerations, including Government’s national and regional guidance.

1.3 Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, which repeals Section 54A of the 1990 Act (as amended), provides that the system for determining planning applications should be “plan-led”. This requires that, where an adopted UDP contains relevant and up-to-date policies, an application for planning permission or a planning appeal shall be determined in accordance with the plan, unless material planning considerations indicate otherwise. Conversely, applications which are not in accordance with relevant policies in the plan should not normally be permitted. In other words, the first issue in considering a planning application is a relevant policy in the adopted UDP.

1.4 Planning system reforms under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, and in Planning Policy Statement 12 “Local Development Frameworks”, include the introduction of Local Development Frameworks. The LDF will comprise various Local Development Documents (LDDs) that will replace the Unitary Development Plan. The LDDs propose to involve the community at an early stage of preparation. One of the documents will be a Statement of Community Involvement, setting the standards for community participation. The aim of the reforms, amongst others, is to achieve greater local ownership and legitimacy for the Council’s land use policies.


1.5 The UDP comprises a Written Statement and a Proposals Map. The Written Statement is divided into two parts. Part I sets out the regional context of the Borough and includes strategic objectives that set the overall policy framework for Part II of the Plan. Part II sets out the detailed policies and proposals for development and use of land, with appropriate supporting text by way of reasoned justification. The Proposals Map shows the location of development proposals listed in chapter 16, and identifies the areas affected by particular designations and policies within the Written Statement.

1.6 Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are required, in formulating policies in development plans, to have regard to any regional and strategic planning guidance and to current national policies. The Bromley UDP review has brought local planning policies in line with the most recent planning policy guidance. Major changes in national policy on, for example, retailing and town centres (PPS6), transport (PPG13), housing (PPG3) and green belts (PPG2), as well as on general policies and principles (PPS1), have all been published since the current UDP was adopted.

1.7 The review has also taken account of the advice contained in RPG9 (Regional Planning Guidance for the South East 2001) and the Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) - the London Plan – published by the Mayor of London in February 2004. The SDS provides an integrated approach to shaping the future pattern and direction of development in London, and set out a common spatial framework for the Mayor’s other strategies, as well as for the land use policies in UDPs. UDPs are required to be in general conformity with the SDS.


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