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Policy actions 2 of 3

Examining development plans

Development plan examinations

Planning authorities must create development plans for their area and provide an opportunity for the public to make representations about the plan.

If there are any unresolved representations, the authority must submit the plan to ministers for examination. Ministers appoint our reporters to carry this out, after which they will submit a report to the planning authority with their recommendations on changes to the plan.

Any changes to the plan recommended by the reporter are binding, except in circumstances laid out in section 92 of the Development Planning circular.

In an examination of a strategic development plan the reporter will submit a report to ministers who will decide whether to approve the plan in whole, in part, or reject it altogether.

We have published guidance for people who have raised representations on a development plan, which explains the process in detail.

We have provided a list of current and completed development plan examinations.