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Powys County Council Local Development Plan Has Now Replaced the Unitary Development Plan but What Does It Mean?

Fri 27 April 2018

As of the 17th April 2018, Powys County Council now has a new Local Development Plan or LDP for short. The LDP has replaced the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) and covers the period from 2011-2026.

In reality most people will not see a difference, however those working in planning will have to adjust to the new development plan, in order to provide the best advice to our clients.

The LDP is a brief 229 page document and sets out the Council’s policies for development and use of land in Powys for all areas with the exemption of the Brecon Beacons National Park which has its own LDP.  The Powys LDP sets out the development plan based upon the evidence of future need over the 15year plan, and aims to help supply an additional 4,500 dwellings, which includes 952 affordable homes, and provides 45 hectares of employment land. I focus here mainly on the housing development potential.

In terms of the biggest noticeable change to development is the Settlement Hierarchy, this has redefined the class settlements fall into based upon the size of the settlement, the amount of facilities and the suitability of the settlement to accommodate sustainable growth.  This then defines the settlements down into 5 categories – Towns, large villages, small villages, rural settlements and open countryside.

The policy is fairly similar for Towns and Large Villages, with potential sites having to fall into either allocated or other suitable sites within the development boundary.

In small villages no defined boundary is provided, and development is restricted to largely infill development, with up to 2 open market dwellings, and the remainder affordable housing. There are however caveats regarding plot size.

Rural settlements see changes that will limit growth to all but the larger of rural settlements, where there is a cluster of 10 or more unrestricted dwellings together (excludes farm houses and barn conversions) and even then development is only permitted for a single affordable house.

The open countryside sees further restrictions, where only clear defined housing need (affordable or rural workers) may be permitted, barn conversions, or renovations of former abandoned dwellings. There is a provision to follow national policy where One Planet Development types may be permitted, however, this is a stringent process and would have to be carefully followed.

That, in brief, covers what we need to know for any new developments for housing, however many will not be looking in-depth to much at those, and more for extensions and tourism related projects.

A new householder policy has been created, and whilst not defining extensions for which it refers back to the PPW policies, it does include for the conversion of ancillary buildings for annex accommodation or extensions which is useful.

Tourism remains high priority in Powys, with schemes able to be pushed ahead providing they meet several key criteria’s, of which farm diversification which takes advantage of a particular outlook or access to walking network will happily tick the box most of the time.

Whilst every potential development opportunity will need to be reviewed on its own merit, hopefully, the above will provide some overview of the potential chances within the new LDP.


For further information or to discuss any projects please contact your local McCartneys Planning and Surveying Department

Geraint Jones BSc (Hons) MRICS – Newtown and Welshpool Planning and Surveying Department

Tel: 01686 623123 / 01938 531000 or email

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