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Local Plan for the Bournemouth area

The Local Plan sets out the vision, strategies and policies for development within the area. The following planning policies make up the Local Plan for the Bournemouth area.

Core Strategy

The Core Strategy (2012) forms an important part of the Local Plan for the Bournemouth area. We use these policies when we determine planning applications. It also:

  • sets out how the Bournemouth area should develop in the future
  • sets objectives and policies for the Bournemouth area
  • puts a delivery strategy in place to achieve the objectives
  • shows how the delivery of the strategy will be managed and monitored.

Policies map

The policies map shows the allocations and designations covered by policies in the Local Plan:

Town Centre Area Action Plan

The Bournemouth Town Centre Area Action Plan (2013) focuses specifically on the Town Centre as the heart of the Bournemouth area’s economy and supports our long-term goals.

Affordable Housing Development Plan Document

The Affordable Housing Development Plan Document (2009) addresses the issues caused by increasing house prices in the Bournemouth area and explains how developers of residential schemes will be required to contribute to affordable housing.

Saved Policies - Bournemouth District Wide Local Plan

There are a number of policies within the Bournemouth District Wide Local Plan (2002) that are saved and still in effect. These are set out in a schedule of saved policies. You can view the contents and the main pages of the plan.

The Development Plan for the Bournemouth area also comprises:

Article 4 Direction: Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

The Article 4 Direction means that in all of the Bournemouth area and Talbot Village in the Poole area you will need planning permission to change the use of a house (Use class C3) into a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) (Use class C4). HMOs are defined as 'small shared houses or flats occupied by between 3 and 6 unrelated individuals who share basic amenities'.

The Article 4 Directions were made under Article 4(1) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. The Article 4 Direction came into force in December 2011. We have produced an FAQ for download.

Planning guidance

Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD), Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) and other guidance documents provide more detailed planning guidance to support the Local Plan. These are non-statutory documents but can be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

BCP Parking Standards SPD

The BCP Parking Standards SPD (January 2021) provides detail on parking requirements for development within the area.

Dorset Heathlands Planning Framework

The Dorset Heathlands Planning Framework 2020-2025 SPD (and reference list) (2020) sets out a strategy under which planning applications for residential development can be mitigated to avoid adverse effects on the integrity of the Dorset Heathlands. 

Residential development within 400 metres of the heathlands is strictly controlled and mitigation is necessary between 400 metres and 5km of heathland. This is through Heathland Infrastructure Projects (HIPs) and Strategic, Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM). HIPs are usually secured through the payment of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) but SAMMs are secured by planning obligationYou can check if your property is within 400 metres of a heathland on this map.

Dorset Heathlands Interim Air Quality Strategy

The Dorset Heathlands Interim Air Quality Strategy 2020-2025 (February 2021) aims to address the adverse effect of airborne nitrogen from increases in traffic upon the Dorset Heathlands designated sites by contributing to the achievement of the conservation objectives for air quality and in doing so, facilitate the delivery of planned development. The strategy uses Community Infrastructure Levy funds to provide mitigation avoiding the need for developers to pay planning obligations.

Tourist Accommodation SPD

The Tourist Accomodation SPD (2016) sets out our approach to development of tourist accommodation within the Bournemouth area.

Affordable Housing SPD

The Affordable Housing SPD (2011) explains how we will apply the Affordable Housing DPD. Where on-site affordable housing provision is not considered appropriate financial contributions will be required.

Bournemouth Public Realm Strategy SPD

The Bournemouth Public Realm Strategy SPD (2013) aims to make sure our streets and public spaces work well, have a consistent appearance distinctive to the Bournemouth area and are in keeping with local character, and provide quality and value for money.

Former Cliff End Hotel Site Development Brief SPD

The Former Cliff End Hotel Site Development Brief SPD (2013) sets out principles for the positive redevelopment of the site.

Bournemouth Town Centre Development Design Guide SPD

The Bournemouth Town Centre Development Design Guide SPD (2015) supports the Town Centre Area Action Plan. Its purpose is to help manage the town's evolution by promoting coherent streets, high quality and sustainable buildings,and a recognisable sense of place. You can view part 1 of the SPD and part 2 of the SPD (2015).

Conversion to Flats SPG

The Conversion to Flats SPG (1999) provides guidance on the conversion of properties into flats.

Day Nurseries and Playgroups SPG

The Day Nurseries and Playgroups SPG (2001) provides planning advice for people who wish to set up playgroups and day nurseries.

Waste and recycling 

The Standards for Storage and means of access to refuse and recycling containers (2018) guidance note provides standards developers should apply to dealing with waste in developments.  

Residential Development: A Design Guide

The Residential Development: A Design Guide (2008) part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 promotes good quality design for new residential development.

Residential Extensions: A Guide for Householders

The Residential Extensions: A Guide for Householders (2008) promotes good quality design for new residential development.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)

The Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) (2003) guidance note sets out how the Council will seek to secure SuDS in developments.

Design Principles for Retail to Residential Conversions

The Design Principles for Retail to Residential Conversions (2000) guidance note aims to improve the quality of conversions with high streets.

Shopfronts: Guidelines for the Design of Shopfronts

The Shopfronts: Guidelines for the Design of Shopfronts guidance note seeks to improve the appearance of shop fronts. 

Evidence studies

The following evidence studies are also relevant to the Bournemouth area.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

The Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), SHMA Summary and Bournemouth summary report (2015) sets the population and household forecasts and household formation rates to 2033.

Bournemouth SHLAA

The Bournemouth SHLAA (2019) sets out the sites that make up the housing supply and includes a housing trajectory and 5 year land supply.

Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Gypsy Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment

The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Gypsy Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment (2017) sets out the accommodation needs for gypsy and travellers to 2036

Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Workspace Strategy

The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Workspace Strategy (2016) provides employment land projections and business sector forecasts to 2033.

The Joint Bournemouth, Christchurch and East Dorset Retail and Leisure Study

The Joint Bournemouth, Christchurch and East Dorset Retail and Leisure Study comprises of:

  • Volume 1 Report (2017) which summarises the relevant policy context, describes the shopping hierarchy and provides a needs assessment for retail and other main town centre uses.
  • Volume 2 Report (2017) which relates specifically to the Bournemouth area and assesses the main centres, sets out recommendations and conclusions and includes health checks of each defined centre.
  • an Update Addendum Report (2019) provides a partial update and should be read alongside Volumes 1 and 2 and updates the retail and food / beverage floorspace capacity projections 2017 - 2033 taking into account implications of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2018, updated population projections and Experian's latest expenditure forecasts (2018).

Flood risk assessment

The Local Plan is supported by a strategic flood risk assessment.

You can view the progress we are making in implementing the local plan policies on the monitoring and information page.

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