Planning policy and guidance

The policy team prepare strategies and policies to guide development and outcomes in order to safeguard our environment and to provide viable, vibrant and sustainable communities, well into the future. The Local Plan explains our land use strategy in detail and sets out where new development may be allowed. The government advice is that planning applications must be decided in line with these policies unless there is an overriding reason to set them aside. Our commitment to you is that we will use our best efforts to:

  • ensure that the Local Plan is kept up to date
  • ensure that local people help shape policies
  • provide supplementary planning documents for sensitive or large sites
  • make sure consultation documents are available at all Poole libraries
  • monitor the implementation of the policies
  • respond to new pressures by proposing new and/or amended policies
  • advise on how you may make representations to proposed policies and inform you of how your views were considered
  • use a variety of consultation techniques to ensure all sections of the community are engaged
  • acknowledge comments received during consultation periods
  • balance the requirements for development with the conservation of the environment

BCP Local Plan

In April 2019, a new council for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole came into being. Work has begun on bringing all three areas up-to-date with a new statutory Local Development Plan.  The BCP Local Plan will provide a positive strategy and framework for addressing housing needs and other economic, social and environmental priorities. The consolidated BCP Local Plan will eventually replace the raft of existing Local Plan Documents adopted by the preceding three councils. 

Poole Development Plan

The development plan is the starting point for planning decision making. The Poole Local Plan sets out the local planning authority’s planning strategy, site allocations showing the location of sites for future development, and development management policies against which planning applications will be considered.

The plan is accompanied by a policies map:

There are two current Neighbourhood Plans:

There is one Neighbourhood Plan in preparation:

We, in conjunction with other Dorset Local Planning Authorities, have prepared minerals and waste local plans:

Supplementary Planning Documents

Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) are provided where the level of planning guidance required is too detailed for inclusion in the Local Development Plan. These are non-statutory documents that supplement the policies and proposals of the Local Plan. An SPD does not have the same status as the development plan but can be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

Our planning guidance notes give additional detail and guidance in relation to:

Supplementary Planning Guidance

Our adopted supplementary planning guidance helps to ensure that policies are applied effectively and can be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. 


Our Authorities Monitoring Report (AMR) is produced on a yearly basis to monitor the progress and effectiveness of the Poole Local Plan. The AMR is a live document which monitors the performance of adopted policies against the targets set out in the monitoring framework.

Our 5 year land supply is set out in the latest Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)The SHLAA demonstrates that there is a sufficient housing supply to meet the area's housing target between 2019 - 2024 and throughout the rest of the plan period to 2033.

Other areas that may be of interest:

Poole Local Plan evidence base

The evidence base comprises the technical, research and other assessment reports, studies and strategies that were used to inform the planning policies for the Poole Local Plan.

The evidence base is always being improved so please check back periodically to view updates.

Contact details


01202 633321

Growth and Infrastructure
BCP Council
Civic Centre
BH15 2RU 

Page last updated: 08 January 2021
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