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Planning policy guidance

Find policy guidance, information on SDPs and consultations on them here.

We issue two types of guidance:

  • Supplementary planning documents (SPDs). These provide additional information on the implementation of Development plan document policies.
  • Other occasional guidance. These can assist developers in formulating planning applications and decision takers in arriving at their decisions. These guidance notes do not set policy or form part of the Local Plan.

Note: This guidance can help in making decisions, but should not be cited within reasons for refusal or for granting permission.

Adopted SPDs

Central Elland SPD

These documents relate to Elland's development. They outline the planning context and give an analysis of the issues.

This was formally adopted by Council on 23rd April 2008.

The Central Elland Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) has been prepared as part of the emerging Calderdale Local Development Framework (LDF) and in accordance with the Local Development Scheme (LDS). As the LDF's Core Strategy has not yet been prepared, the SPD is linked to policies contained in the Replacement Calderdale Unitary Development Plan (RCUDP).

The document was previously published for Early Community Engagement in July/August 2007, to seek views on the issues and options relating to Central Elland. In January 2008, a revised draft was published for a phase of formal public consultations, in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Regulations. The SPD was adopted by the Council on 23rd April 2008.

The Central Elland SPD and accompanying Sustainability Appraisal and Consultation Report, can be viewed below.

Central Elland SPD

Below is the sustainability appraisal report, which assesses the social, economic and environmental effects of the SPD:

Self and Custom Build Housing

Status: Adopted November 2023.

Policy HS5 of the Calderdale Local Plan sets out the Council's requirements for self and custom build housing provision.

This SPD provides guidance for those who seek to build self and custom build housing in Calderdale. This is to make sure that this type of housing will continue to increase over time. It will is relevant to:

  • Self-build plot providers.
  • Developers building more than 100 dwellings.
  • Communities involved in Neighbourhood Planning.
  • Community Land Trusts.
  • Anyone else who wants to build their own home.

Cabinet considered the draft SPD at its meeting of 12th June 2023 and authorised a four-week public consultation in compliance with regulations.

The consultation ran from 30 June to 28 July 2023.

Following amendments, the SPD returned to Cabinet on 13 November 2023 and the meeting recommended that the SPD be adopted by Council. 

The SPD was adopted at the Council of 29 November 2023.

Garden Communities Masterplans and Design Codes

Status: Adopted 14th February 2024.

The allocation of the Garden Suburbs in Brighouse provides an opportunity to achieve sustainable development. These sites are of sufficient scale to support a 'Garden Village' approach including enhanced local facilities and infrastructure.

The two Garden Community allocations are a key element of the Local Plan's housing delivery. A Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and an associated Design Code Supplementary Planning Document for each site, ensures that they deliver a high quality, comprehensive development.

The documents have been prepared by JTP Architects and Masterplanners, for the allocations at Thornhills and Woodhouse, to ensure delivery of development in a coordinated manner.

They will describe and map the sites, which includes:

  • Proposed land uses.
  • Urban design.
  • Landscaping.
  • Built form.
  • Movement.
  • Access.
  • Infrastructure.
  • Service provision.

They also set out the intended implementation and phasing of development.

The SPDs are now material planning considerations which will be used in assessing planning applications. As individual land parcels are brought forward as part of the phased development, detailed planning applications will be expected to conform to the Masterplan SPD and accompanying Design Code SPD.

Cabinet considered the draft SPD at its meeting of 7th August 2023 and authorised a four-week public consultation in compliance with regulations.

The consultation on the draft SPDs ran from 25th August to 25th September 2023.

After being amended, the SPDs went back to Cabinet on 15th January 2024. This meeting recommended that the Council adopted these documents:

Keep in touch

We can keep you informed on the progress of the Local Plan by email.

To do this, please register, visit: Consultation Portal.

Future SPDs

Since the adoption of the Local Plan in March 2023, we are preparing SPDs to help in its implementation and interpretation.

Below is the list of SPDs we committed to make during the Local Plan examination. Information and documents about their progress and consultations are available.

Affordable Housing

Status: Draft.

Expected adoption: Summer 2024.

The Draft Affordable Housing SPD sets out how Policy HS6 of the Calderdale Local Plan will be implemented. It provides technical guidance as to the nature of the affordable housing to be provided and the means of delivery.

This draft SPD has been prepared by Housing and Planning Services, both of which will be instrumental in its implementation. Given the number and scale of some allocations in the Local Plan there is the chance to achieve a greater level of affordable housing than before.

The Draft SPD covers these main areas:

  • Purpose of the SPD.
  • Policy Background.
  • Where and how much affordable housing is required.
  • Type of affordable housing required.
  • The process for securing affordable housing.

This consultation version of the SPD also includes questions to which responses are invited. They are listed at the start of the document and are also at the end of the relevant sections.

As part of the preparation of the draft SPD, early engagement was undertaken with Registered Providers. This was in regard to the contents of the SPD and the proposed changes to transfer values.

Cabinet considered the draft SPD at its meeting on 12th June 2023 and authorised a four-week public consultation in compliance with regulations.

Placemaking and Design Guide

Status: Draft.

Expected adoption: Summer 2024.

This will provide more guidance on the implementation of the Local Plan policy on design.

  • How should Calderdale's buildings, streets, neighbourhoods and towns be designed to make sure we meet our corporate objectives?
  • Also, how can we consider the legacy and impact urban design has in our lives?

This SPD will:

  • Help our Officers to appraise the design quality of a scheme.
  • Provide guidance for developers, housebuilders, self-builders, local communities, councillors, architects and designers.
  • Speed up the planning process as it will make clear what we expect from applicants in regard to design quality. This helps avoid the situation where applications must be modified when being considered.

JTP Architects are developing the SPD with us. Workshops were held in May 2023 to help inform the first stages of its preparation.

The Cabinet meeting (11th December 2023) approved a draft version for consultation. This ran from Friday 5th January to Friday 2nd February 2024. Representations are now being collated and considered.

Biodiversity Net Gain

Status: Draft.

Expected adoption: July 2024.

Cabinet considered the draft SPD at its meeting on 9th October 2023. They authorised a four-week public consultation as per regulations. This will be from Monday 23rd October to Monday 20th November 2023. For more details and how to make representations, see:

Policy GN3 'Natural Environment' of the Calderdale Local Plan sets out our requirements for increasing biodiversity. This SPD will help implement the policy.

It also provides advice to developers on how to meet the statutory requirement. This is to achieve at least a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain, as set down in the Environment Act 2021.

This draft has been prepared by our Countryside and Planning Services. The main areas it covers are:

  • Its purpose.
  • What biodiversity net gain means.
  • Legislation and policy.
  • Mitigation Hierarchy.
  • Biodiversity Metric.
  • Information needed to validate and determine planning applications.
  • On-site delivery of BNG.
  • Off-site delivery of BNG.

Flood Risk and Drainage

Status: Draft

Expected adoption: July 2024.

Cabinet considered the draft SPD on 13th November 2023 and authorised a public consultation. This ran from 22nd November to 22nd December 2023.

For more details, see:

This SPD will help implement these policies:

  • CC2 Flood Risk Management (Managing Flood Risk in New Development).
  • CC3 Water Resource Management.
  • CC4 Catchment Management of the Calderdale Local Plan set out the Council’s requirements for the water environment. (Includes the impacts of Climate Change.)

It has been prepared by Strategic Infrastructure and Planning Services and both will be instrumental in its implementation.

There is an urgent need for this SPD to be adopted given the history of flooding in the borough. Also, to make sure developers understand and comply with all relevant policies and guidelines to minimise the risk of flooding. There are also links to the Biodiversity Net Gain SPD on which consultation ended recently.

The Draft SPD covers these main areas:

  • A description of the Calder Catchment and history of Flooding in Calderdale.
  • A summary of relevant legislation, policy and guidance.
  • The main sources of flooding and understanding flood risk. (Includes the implications of Climate Change in relation to flood risk.)
  • The Sequential Approach to Flood Risk. (Includes how to employ the Sequential and Exception Tests.)
  • How to undertake Site Specific Flood Risk Assessments.
  • Surface Water Drainage Strategies. (Includes the importance of using Sustainable Drainage Systems - SuDS.)

Halifax Town Centre

Status: Scoping.

The Matter 11 (Retail) MIQ Statement from the Council for the Local Plan Stage 2 Hearings stated:

  • A review and update of the Halifax Town Centre Delivery Plan will be undertaken. This will form the basis of a Supplementary Planning Document.
  • The SPD will set out an updated vision and aspirations for the future of Halifax. This is to promote and guide growth to continue the regeneration of the area.

This SPD will also build on the work of the High Streets Task Force. It has identified that support can be offered to develop a shared collaborative vision for the town centre. Also, to develop an approach to deliver a wayfinding strategy. The preparation of the SPD would follow on from this work, once complete. Timescales are yet to be determined.

Public Open Space, Sport and Recreation

Status: Scoping.

Policy GN6 of the Local Plan sets out our standards for the protection and provision of Open Space, Sport and Recreation facilities. This SPD will expand on Policy GN6 by providing practical and technical guidance. It will be a material consideration for planning decisions.

New developments which generate additional demand for recreational open space will be required to contribute towards its:

  • provision;
  • improvement;
  • and maintenance.

Renewable and Low Carbon Energy

Status: Scoping

The Council declared a Climate Emergency in early 2019 and published its Climate Action Plan in 2023.

This SPD will give more information on the detailed technical aspects of district heat networks and their requirements. This reflects work being undertaken by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero to designate heat network zones.

It will be a useful source of information for:

  • developers preparing planning applications;
  • and planning officers in Development Management, when they assess proposals.

It will show where a local heat network is:

  • in use;
  • soon to be in use;
  • or being developed.

Also, it will provide information and guidance about other renewable and low carbon technologies, such as:

  • solar PV and solar thermal;
  • wind energy;
  • heat pumps;
  • and energy efficiency in buildings, including retrofitting.

This SPD will draw on national legislation and guidance, such as:

  • the Climate Act 2008;
  • Energy Act 2023;
  • the Future Homes Standard;
  • the National Planning Policy Framework and associated Planning Practice Guidance.

By doing this, it will provide more details to support Local Plan Policies: BT1, CC5 and CC6.

Others - not started development

  • Planning Obligations SPD.
  • Travel Plan SPD.

To discuss planning guidance with us, whether adopted or in development, please email:

Other guidance

Landscape guidance on smaller turbines

This guidance provides a rigorous, structured approach to consideration of landscape and visual issues associated with single turbines and groups of turbines up to 60 metres, in height to blade tip. The guidance is intended to help developers understand (and respond effectively to) the specific landscape and visual issues associated with smaller classes of turbine. It will be used to inform and support development management decisions:

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