Draft Local Plan 2040

Local Plan 2040 Header

What is a Local Plan?

The Local Plan will guide future development within the Test Valley area. The Local Plan sets out planning policies to address our communities needs e.g. housing, and how we intend to deliver sustainable development. It will be used by the Council in assessing planning applications.

The Local Plan will cover a range of matters such as housing, employment, our town centres, countering climate change and conserving and enhancing our local environment and heritage. The Local Plan is produced by Test Valley Borough Council, in its role as the local planning authority, and will need to follow national guidance. Once the Local Plan has been through a number of statutory stages of preparation, it will be examined and if found to be appropriate, it can be adopted. Upon adoption it will replace the current Test Valley Revised Local Plan 2011-2029.

Why is it important?

Local plans are important as they shape how places will change in the future.  It sets out how we see Test Valley developing and outlines policies in which planning applications will be assessed against. If you and your community are seeking to influence the future of Test Valley, the Local Plan is the place to start.   

The Local Plan can play a key role in helping to deliver local priorities, such as those identified corporately. This includes growing the potential of our town centres, communities, people and local environment.

The content of the Local Plan is not determined at this stage as it takes many years for a Local Plan to be put in place, or what is known as adopted.  We need the views of our community to ensure it reflects what is important to them

Where we are with preparation?

Preparation for the Local Plan does not start from scratch. A Local Plan must be in accordance with national policy. This sets out what a Local Plan must do including identifying how many homes and employment land we need. We already have an Adopted Local Plan which looks forward to 2029 which provides a starting point for this one.  

The Local Plan is developed through a process of identifying key issues and challenges for the Borough including gathering and reviewing evidence. This is followed by setting a vision, developing policy options and assessing the plan against a series of criteria for sustainability and protection of habitats which is required by national policy. This is all undertaken in consultation with our communities and stakeholders.

Our first step for this Local Plan was consulting on our key issues, challenges and potential priorities for Test Valley. This was undertaken through two public consultations on our Issues and Options consultation (2018) and Refined Issues and Options Consultation (2020).

These public consultations have helped to identify the draft vision and strategic planning priorities for Test Valley including a set of strategic policies which explain in further detail how our priorities will be delivered. A summary of the draft priorities and policies can be accessed here and the draft Local Plan documents can be assessed here.

Stages of Local Plan preparation

Issues and Options 2018


Refined issues and Options 2020


Regulation 18, Stage 1 Feb 2022


Regulation 18, Stage 2 Q3 2023


Regulation 19, Q3 2024


Submission Q2 2025


We want to hear your views on the draft strategic priorities and policies to help us refine these and ensure they reflect the priorities our communities whilst also being in accord with national policy. Details of how to make comments can be accessed here.

Following this public consultation, we will take account of your feedback to help refine the Local Plan. We will also continue to undertake evidence and assess policy options to inform more detailed policies at the next stage.

There will be two more opportunities to comment on draft proposals before the Local Plan goes through an examination process. This will determine whether the Local Plan provides an appropriate and sustainable strategy for Test Valley.