Local Plan Background

Preparing the 2012 Local Plan

Issues and Options

Early in 2009, we sought people's views on the main planning issues for the Borough. Later that year, we consulted on an Options Paper which set out a vision for the Borough in 2027, and five separate options for addressing the issues and achieving the vision.  We received several hundred responses, and heard a variety of views from local people at public consultation events.

Preferred Options 

The Core Strategy Preferred Options paper covered a range of topics.  It set out three possible locations for Green Belt release, two of which were preferred by the Council.  We consulted on this in spring 2011.

Later in 2011, we made the decision to prepare a comprehensive 'Local Plan' encompassing Core Strategy policies, proposed site allocations, and more detailed 'development management' policies.  We consulted on the new Local Plan Preferred Options document early in 2012 and received over 1300 comments.

Publication and Submission

We consulted on the Local Plan Publication document over August - October 2012, and submitted the Plan, along with all representations made and supporting documents, to government on 31 October 2012.


The Examination in Public was carried out by the independent Inspector Mr Roger Clews.  The examination ran from November 2012 to September 2013, with 3 weeks of public hearings in February / March 2013.

We received the Inspector's Final Report on 26 September 2013. The Inspector concluded that the Local Plan was both sound and legally compliant, subject to a number of modifications.


The Council adopted the West Lancashire Local Plan 2012-2027 on 16 October 2013.

One challenge was brought by Peel Land and Property (Ports) Limited, but subsequently withdrawn.


Evidence and research

The Local Plan was informed by a wide range of evidence. Almost all has since been superseded.  For the most up-to-date evidence, pleased see the Local Plan 2038 Evidence Base.

One of the requirements in preparing a Local Plan is to undertake sustainability appraisal ('SA') and Habitats Regulations Assessment ('HRA') at each stage.

The October 2013 SA Statement documents the SA and HRA undertaken at each stage of preparing the Local Plan, and how the Plan was modified as a result.

Each year the Council prepare an Annual Monitoring Report which considers the effects of the Plan's policies.