Rossendale Borough Council

Local Plan

Rossendale Local Plan


The Council has commissioned a number of evidence base documents to inform the preparation of the Local Plan. These documents are being published to provide transparency about the factual basis on which the Local Plan will be prepared.  The evidence base is listed below:

The Evidence Base is also accompanied by a Sustainability Appraisal and Habitat Regulations Assessment.

Hard copies of each of the documents will be available to view at the Council’s offices at the Business Centre, Futures Park, Bacup, OL13 8AP.

An Open Day on the Evidence Base will be held on Tuesday 4th July from 1pm-6pm. This will be held in the Council Chamber at Futures Park and is intended to provide an opportunity for anyone interested to come along and ask questions about the documents. 

Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) and Five Year Housing Land Supply Report

The adopted Core Strategy contains a number of targets for measuring the performance of policies. The latest AMR is now being published and includes statistics about the achievement of targets over the last three year period (2014/15; 2015/16 and 2016/17). The AMR provides important evidence that will help inform the preparation of the Local Plan.

The Council also prepares annual 5 year Housing Land Supply Reports. This looks at the delivery of new housing as well as the supply of sites. This enables the Council to identify how much land is currently available with permission as well as where a supply of new sites may derive from. Reports are now being published for 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Preparing the new local Plan (2019 - 2034)

There are 3 elements to the new Local Plan:

  • Review of the policies set out in the adopted Core Strategy (2011), where appropriate, such as the development requirements
  • Identifying sufficient land to meet these development needs (eg for housing, employment land etc)
  • Draft Development Management policies to guide development

Core Strategy

The existing Adopted Core Strategy (2011) remains the Development Plan for Rossendale until it is superseded by the new Local Plan. The Core Strategy can be viewed at

If you have any specific queries please e-mail

Updated 12.06.2017


It was decided at the end of 2016 to publish the complete set of Evidence Base documents immediately after the County Council Elections in May and then go out to consultation on the draft Plan in June. Due to the subsequent announcement of the General Election the proposed publication date of 8th May for the Evidence Base is now within the purdah period. In line with previous processes, and following advice from the Council’s Monitoring (Legal) Officer, it has been decided to publish the Evidence Base on 12th June, outside of this new period of purdah with consultation on the draft Plan to follow in July 2017. The publication of the draft Local Plan will be subject to an extended period of consultation to take into account the holiday period.

Updated NH 08/05/17

LOCAL PLAN (2019-2034)

Rossendale's Local Plan will designate land and buildings for future uses to meet the Borough's needs and set out what developments should look like and how they should fit in with their surroundings.

The Local Plan is being prepared in accordance with national planning policies (National Planning Policy Framework) and National Planning Policy Guidance. The adopted Core Strategy (2011) and Proposals Map as amended will remain in place until it is superseded by the emerging Local Plan.

This webpage has been created to explain how we are progressing the new Local Plan, and will be kept up-to-date.  Consultation events will be posted here as well as Evidence Base documents, which will be used to inform the Local Plan.

Latest News!

New Local Plan Timetable (Local Development Scheme)

A new Local Plan timetable was agreed at the Council meeting held on Wednesday 14th December 2016. The timetable called Local Development Scheme is available to view here


Progress on the Evidence Base is well underway. We will publish the completed Evidence Base studies on the website, and we intend to host an information event with stakeholders.  More details will be available nearer the time and everybody on the Local Plan consultation database will be notified. 

Town Centre, Retail, Tourism and Leisure Study

White Young Green has been commissioned to undertake this study, which will look at the existing provision in the Borough and identify future requirements for these uses over the plan period.  The Study will also examine appropriate town centre boundaries, leisure trends and provide advice on policy development.  A telephone survey was recently undertaken in order to assess residents’ views; this has now finished, and the results of this will feed into the report.

Review of Employment Land and Sites

Rossendale Borough Council has commissioned Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) to assess the quality and quantity of employment premises and land throughout the Valley.  As part of this study we have asked businesses involved in manufacturing, industry, storage and distribution, throughout Rossendale, to complete an online survey to tell us about existing premises and any plans they have in the future for expansion.  The results of this study will feed into the emerging Local Plan for Rossendale, and help the Council identify suitable land in the future to provide for the needs of Rossendale’s businesses.  

Strategic Housing Market Area Assessment (SHMA)

This identifies the Full Objectively Assessed Need (FOAN) for Rossendale taking into account all the latest population and employment forecasts. The FOAN effectively sets out how many new houses need to be provided each year.  A number of different scenarios have been modelled.  The emerging Study has identified to date that Rossendale does not have a self-contained Housing Market Area and recommends that the HMA is defined as the Rossendale Borough boundary for practical purposes. 

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) Critical Friend Review

The SHLAA assesses individual sites that have been put forward for housing for their achievability, availability and suitability. This piece of work is being prepared internally with over 300 pieces of land being assessed. This work is being undertaken in-house and involves contacting land owners in the Borough to confirm if the land is still available for development  Independent consultants were employed to assess the methodology used and reviewed a sample of the site appraisals to ensure the approach taken is robust.

Green Belt Study

The Green Belt Study has split the Green Belt in the Borough (around Rising Bridge; between Haslingden and Rawtenstall; south of Helmshore and around Edenfield; between Waterfoot and Stacksteads; between Britannia and Shawforth and around Whitworth) into over 80 separate parcels.  The role they play in meeting national Green Belt policy has then been assessed using a consistent methodology.

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

This updates previous work undertaken in 2014/15 taking into account the implications of last December’s Floods and the latest climate change allowances published by the Environment Agency. The Study ranks sites into categories varying from those that have no flooding issues to a small number of locations where development should not go ahead.

Gypsy and Traveller Study (GTAA)

The GTAA updates previous work undertaken in 2009 and included a number of interviews with Gypsy and Traveller families. It will identify the number of pitches that would need to be made available on permanent and transit sites.

Environmental Corridors Study

This work looks particularly at the role of the “Greenlands” areas identified in the 1995 Plan as well as taking a strategic view of environmental corridors, their functions and wider role. 24 Greenland sites have been assessed in detail and different functions of environmental corridors have been assessed. 

Sustainability Appraisal

Preparation of a Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulation Assessment is required by law as part of the preparation of the Plan. The SA assesses sites against a set of 13 social, environmental and economic criteria to assess how they perform. Preparation of the SA is iterative in nature and should be considered in selecting which sites should be progressed and if any mitigation is necessary. It will need to be repeated at the next stage of plan preparation.

The Playing Pitch Strategy was published earlier this year. An additional piece of work is also being commissioned on Affordable Housing Viability to identify the extent to which new market housing will be able to contribute to affordable housing provision. An Infrastructure Delivery Plan is being prepared internally.

If you have any queries please e-mail

Please e-mail too if you wish to be added to the Local Plan consultation database to be kept informed of consultations on the emerging Local Plan, ensuring you include your name and full postal address.


We asked people to submit details of sites that may be suitable for development. The consultation ran until Thursday 24th March 2016.  We received details of more than 80 sites, which are currently being assessed for their suitability for development, as part of the SHLA.  Please see below for more details, including the Call For Sites form.

Forms are available to download here

FAQ & Guidance

If you have a site that you would like to put forward and that you have not contacted us about previously that could physically deliver at least 5 dwellings or is larger than 0.25 ha for proposed employment uses please e-mail Forward Planning at:

Withdrawal of the Local Plan Part 2

The Council has taken the decision (24th February 2016) to withdraw the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Plan Document (also known as the Local Plan Part 2). This means that we will not be progressing this document.  The formal Withdrawal Notice can be viewed at  

Preparing a new Local Plan (2019-2034)

Instead of continuing with the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies DPD the decision has been taken by Council (9th December 2015) to withdraw this document (please see and embark on a review of the whole Local Plan and prepare a single document.  There will be 3 elements to the new Local Plan:

·         Review of the policies set out in the adopted Core Strategy (2011), where appropriate, such as the  development requirements

·         Identifying sufficient land to meet these development needs (eg for housing , employment land etc)

·         Draft Development Management policies to guide development.

Community Infrastructure Levy

The Council is also looking to prepare a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule, which will be developed alongside the Local Plan.  This is effectively a charge which is set by the Council to be paid by developers, based on floorspace.  The monies received by the Council will then be used to fund identified infrastructure improvements. No decision has yet been taken.

Timetable – the Local Development Scheme

The timetable for preparing these documents (the Local Plan and CIL Charging Schedule is set out in the Council’s Local Development Scheme, which can be viewed at

An informal consultation is now scheduled for summer 2017, with the Pre-Submission Draft (Reg 19) to be published summer 2018, with formal submission planned for early 2019. It is expected that Council will adopt the Local Plan and possibly the CIL Charging Schedule in 2020. 

Further information

This webpage has been set up to provide further information on the Local Plan and will be kept up-to-date, providing details of consultation events, documents which form the Evidence Base etc. 

Consultation database

The Council maintains a consultation database of people / organisations who wish to be kept informed about planning documents, including the Local Plan.  Please email if you wish to be added to this list, or if you want your details to be amended or removed.  In order to keep costs down we prefer to use e-mail.

Last Update – AVS 08/05/17


Planning Applications Received - Weekly Lists

Proposed Valley Centre Interim Development

Site Submission Forms

Validation Checklist - Criteria for Applications Submitted to the Local Planning Authority

Wind Energy Developments Study

5 Year Housing Land Supply Reports

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

Hot Food Takeaways

Procedure for speaking at Development Control Committee

Planning Enforcement

Statement of Community Involvement 2014

Local Development Scheme Timetable 2016 - 2019

The Way Forward 2011 - 2026 Summary

Invitation to Tender - Landscape Capacity for Wind Turbines

SHMA - Glossary of Terms

Planning Application Forms

Reaps Moss CMS

Lives & Landscapes Green Belt Re-Consultation Responses

Local Plan Part 2 : Site Allocations & Development Management Policies

Local Plan Part 2 - Evidence - Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

Local Plan Part 2 - Evidence - Lives & Landscapes Assessment

Sustainability Appraisal - Alternatives SA Report

Local Plan Part 2 - Evidence - Wind Turbines in the Landscape Studies

Viability Assessment

Lancashire Ecological Network Maps

Lives & Landscapes Evidence - Individual Site Assessments

Gypsy Sites Appraisals

Habitats Regulations Assessment Screening Report (HRA)

Local Plan Part 2 - Site Allocations

Local Plan Part 2 - Additional Reports - Accessibility

Local Plan Part 2 - Additional Reports - Employment

Local Plan Part 2 - Additional Reports - Environment

Local Plan Part 2 - Additional Reports - Housing

Local Plans Part 2 - Additional Reports (Proposed New Sites)

Local Plan Plan 2 - Additional Reports - Retail & Town Centre Uses

Local Plan Part 2 - Additional Reports - Various Chapters of Local Plan

Call for Sites FAQ Guidance Form

Self Build and Custom Build Register

Playing Pitch Strategy - Rossendale, Pendle & Burnley

Pilot Brownfield Register Manual

Consultation on a draft Local Validation Checklist

Rossendale Town Centre, Retail, Leisure and Tourism Study

Rossendale Employment Land Review

Gypsy and Traveller Study

Environmental Network Study

Green Belt Study

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment

Local Plan Viability Study

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) - Stages 1&2 and Site Assessments

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