The Local Development Framework (LDF) structure came into being in 2004, with the passing of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act. The new act has meant the loss of familiar planning documents such as the Kent Structure Plan and the local authority plans. So, for example, the Kent Structure Plan has been replaced by the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), and in 2010 the Sevenoaks Plan (last amended in 2000) will be replaced by the new Local Development Framework.
The LDF has the following characteristics :
- a spatial plan, which means that it embraces all local council activities which have a spatial dimension. It is about integration - how the development proposals of the authority relate to other corporate strategies and those of partners and other agencies.
- It is a plan which must be locally distinctive, so it must respond to the specific issues of the locality and not contain policies which could apply anywhere.
- it must also be short and concise, and avoid repeating regional and national policies.
- It is also a plan which is about delivery, whether this is through development or investment in infrastructure by other parties. The means of delivering and implementing the LDF must be clearly set out, and this must be regularly monitored.