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What is the Local Plan Policies Map?

What is the Local Plan Policies Map?

What is the Policies Map?

National legislation requires that local planning authorities must adopt and maintain a map that illustrates geographically the application of the policies in the adopted development plan.

The Policies Map therefore shows all areas that are identified in the South Downs Local Plan, Neighbourhood Plans and Minerals and Waste Plans which are subject to particular planning policies. So the Policies Maps will, for example show housing site allocations, corridors safeguarded as future cycle routes, and areas protected as local green space.

The maps also show a number of environmental designations, such as Special Areas for Conservation, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and Local Nature Reserves (read what these mean in the glossary of terms).

Policies that have been locally determined in Neighbourhood Plans are also shown, for example locally important viewpoints.

How does the Policies Map relate to the Local Plan?

As explained above, the online interactive Policies Map shows in map form a number of area-specific policies contained in the Local Plan.

When using the Local Plan, reference should be made to the Policies Map when the policy makes clear there are location-specific or area-specific policy requirements. The legends shown on the maps cross-refer back to specific Local Plan policies.

Some settlements and parishes have locally specific policies; if so, the settlement or parish will be listed on the front cover of any one of the ‘overview maps’. Each of these will have an ‘inset map’ which shows these local policy designations. Those shown as red or blue edged on the ‘overview map’ contain local plan policy designations, allocations and features.

How does the Policies Map relate to Neighbourhood Development Plans?

As well as showing Local Plan policies, the Policies Map show designations, allocations and features identified in Neighbourhood Plans (‘NDPs’). So when using a Neighbourhood Plan, you can refer to the relevant interactive Policies Map to understand how these policies relate to specific areas or locations in that parish. The legends shown on the maps cross-refer back to any relevant ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plan policies.

To find out if there are Neighbourhood Plan features on the map, look for the green or blue edged areas on the ‘Overview Map’. These maps are the ones that show NDP policies on them.

What is the ‘Policies Map Plus’?

The ‘Policies Map Plus’ is only available online, via the interactive map. This goes beyond showing just the allocations and designations in the Local Plan and NDPs.

It also provides detailed information on matters of wider interest, such as landscape character areas, ecosystem services, dark sky zones, and relative tranquillity.

Whilst these are important for interpreting relevant Local Plan policies, they are also important for other wider activities and functions relating to the National Park.


"The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness."