Structure Plan & Local Plan

Levels of Planning

Planning is carried out at various levels beginning from a small local area to as large as the world planning. It is an integral part of human progress and area development and also a continuous process across time and areas which is aimed at the welfare of people and the environment.

Structure Plan and Local Plan

Structure Plan

A structure plan provides a framework used to manage growth and change of an area and guide the development or redevelopment by defining the future development in terms of land use patterns, layout and nature of infrastructure, areas of open space and other key features that influence the pattern of development and its management.  It differs from other plans as it covers a smaller geographic area and contains more detail guiding decision making at localised level. Structure Plan forms an important part of the government strategy to address population growth as well as the resulting housing and employment demands.

Structure Plan generally includes representations like diagrams, graphs, maps or plans of the proposed layout, features, character and links for areas being developed or redeveloped. These representations are usually supported by text explaining the background of the issues that initiated the plan and various approaches to manage those issues are discussed.

Function of Structure Plan

  • To interpret national and regional policies.
  • To establish aim, policies and general progress for an area for which plan is being prepared.
  • Providing framework for more detailed policies and proposals for local plan
  • Indicating action area which are priority area for intensive action present in structure plan
  • Providing basis for coordinating decisions between various committees, planning authorities and district councils and other public bodies.
  • Bringing main planning issues and decisions before the ministers and the public.
  • Providing guidance for development control in these parts of the areas which are not covered/ not yet covered in a local plan.

Local Plan

Shift to local area plans encourages decentralization and improvement in implementation of Development Plans. Local Plans are more concerned with resolving local level problems and issues. It aims for more detailed implementation of policies and proposals. Its prioritizes over all welfare of the people and development of the local area. It is the responsibility of planning authority to develop and adopt the local plan after the approval of structure plan. It is prepared for a time frame of 5- 20 years and reviewed every 5 years.

Local area plans are to be prepared to guide the development or re-development of land, conservation of buildings and physical features, providing improvements in the physical layout, making infrastructure and amenities available and managing the area to enhance health and safety of the residents to support economic development as well as to enhance the quality of living, environment, and for area specific regulatory parameters for the area covered.

Function of local plan

  • To provide the strategic policy framework for planning.
  • To ensure that provision for development is realistic and consistent with policies.
  • To secure consistency with national policies.
  • Applying strategy of structure plan that local plan will develop policies and proposals contained in the structure plan.
  • Providing detailed basis for development control.
  • Providing basis for coordinating development
  • Bringing local and detailed planning issue before the public, inform property owners and developers and how their interests will be effected.
  • Firm land allocation will be made.

Structure Plans and Local Plans

Structure plans and Local Plans are mainly used to coordinate the subdivision and development of land within identified areas. However, there is a difference of scale at which the two plans work. A Structure Plan generally acts as a guiding document for future land use and urban layouts for identified development area. On the other hand, a Local Plan is used to detail out the sub-city land use plan and integration with urban infrastructure, mobility and other services.

Challenges to Planning

Planning involves some serious challenges to become successful because most of the times, it is initiated without giving adequate thought to its effect on the area and people for whom it is  meant. Since it has been initially a top to bottom approach, it gets obstructed at various levels before it reaches the target area and people. Thus, planning in a decentralized manner (with the help of Local plans, for instance) is a better way of carrying out things in a more effective way.