Current Local Plan (2005)

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published in March 2012 and sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. Planning Practice Guidance has been put together to outline the regulations and how the NPPF manages all areas such as Lawful Development Certificates, Tree Preservation, Noise, Adverts, Local Plans, Appeals, Design and many other subjects. Visit the Planning Practice Guidance website to find out more.

The Isles of Scilly Local Plan - A 2020 Vision

The Isles of Scilly Local Plan – A 2020 Vision was adopted in November 2005. All of the Policies of the Local Plan have been saved by the Secretary of State until such time as the Local Planning Authority has adopted a new local plan. The 2005 Local Plan provides a clear spatial planning strategy for the islands in a concise and precise manner, reflecting its relatively small population and geographic area. The Local Plan has regard to the Sustainable Community Strategy for the islands. The Local Plan complements existing strategies for economic development, transport, heritage and culture, as well as the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan. The focus of the Local Plan is to meet the development needs of the islands with the aim of sustaining its communities whilst protecting its outstanding environment that provides the context both for its economy centred on tourism and flower farming.

As set out above, with the exception of those proposals that have already been implemented, the policies contained in the Local Plan have been saved beyond the 3 year period since it was adopted by the Government through the powers of the Secretary of State. Until the adoption of a new local plan, the Local Plan will therefore provide the basis for determining planning applications for the purposes of Section 38(6) of the Town and Country Planning Act along with the Governments National Planning Policy Framework.

The New Isles of Scilly Local Plan

The Local Plan review process is now underway, details of any public consultations and the overall progress can be found here. It should set out:

(1) An overall vision which sets out how the area and the places within it should develop;

(2) Strategic objectives for the area focusing on the key issues to be addressed;

(3) A delivery strategy for achieving these objectives. This should set out how much development is intended to happen where, when, and by what means it will be delivered. Locations for strategic development should be indicated on a key diagram; and

(4) Clear arrangements for managing and monitoring the delivery of the strategy.

The new Local Plan will set out the strategy for the spatial development of the area for at least a 15 year period from the date of its adoption and include a vision, key objectives, quantified targets and details of provision with the allocation of strategic sites for development. The key issue for the Local Plan will be to strike the right balance between protecting and enhancing the high quality environment, whilst ensuring the islands communities and economy grow in a sustainable manner. Key to achieving this sustainable balance will be to improve the economic prosperity of the islands by creating new employment opportunities and improving the quality of the Tourism experience on the islands, providing more housing and ensuring our social and physical infrastructure is adequate.

The Statement of Community Involvement

The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) sets out how and when you can influence planning documents covering the Isles of Scilly and the ways in which you can comment on planning applications, as well as other forms of submissions such as applications for listed building consent.

Engagement is key to providing cost-effective services which meet the needs of our communities. It plays a critical role in shaping the places where people live, work and visit. This approach is recognised by the Government in the Localism Act (2011) and National Planning Policy Framework (2012). By encouraging engagement people and communities can be given the information, power and responsibility they need to respond to the challenges and opportunities they and their communities face.

The Isles of Scilly Authority (formally Annual) Monitoring Report (AMR)

Section 113 of The Localism Act (2011) includes the requirement to produce an Authority Monitoring Report (AMR).  Authorities can choose which targets and indicators to include in the report as long as they are in line with the relevant UK and EU legislation.  Their primary purpose is to share  the performance and achievements of the planning service with the local community. The Act requires every authority to produce a series of reports containing information on the implementation of the Local Development Scheme, the progress and effectiveness of the Local Plan, and the extent to which planning policies set out in the Local Plan documents are being achieved.

AMR6 covers the period 1st April 2011 to 31st March 2012.

Note: AMR's for the periods 2012-13 (AMR7), 2013-14 (AMR8), 2014-15 (AMR9) and 2015-16 (AMR10) have been published in a simplified form.

AMR11 for the Period 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017 will be published here shortly.

Previous Monitoring Reports

The Authority Monitoring Report replaces the Annual Monitoring Reports used to monitor the performance of the Local Development Framework and covers the period up to 31st March 2011.  Copies of AMRs 1-5 are available on request.  

Supplementary Planning Guidance

In addition to the Local Plan, various documents have been prepared that have been adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG). These guidelines are non statutory although they have been subject to public consultation and supplement the policies and proposals set out in the Local Plan. As such their contents are material in the determination of planning applications. Existing SPG is set out below:

Specific Local Need Criteria

Policy 3 of the Local Plan restricts the occupation of new units of accommodation to those who meet specific qualifying criteria in relation to local need, the job they carry out or for staff accommodation. This ensures that no further units of open market housing are created on the islands. The 1991 Isles of Scilly Local Plan only allowed new housing to meet specific local need. Policy 3 of the current Local Plan also makes provision for housing for key workers. The Council has adopted criteria to assess whether a potential occupier is a qualifying person in terms of either specific local need or as a key worker.

Click here to find out more detail on these criteria and how they are incorporated into planning permissions.


Cornwall and Scilly Urban Survey: Historic Characterisation for Regeneration Hugh Town 2003

This joint initiative funded by English Heritage, EU Objective 1, South West of England Regional Development Agency and Cornwall County Council is aimed at harnessing the quality and distinctive character of the historic environment to successful and sustainable regeneration. The report contains an in depth assessment of the historic character of Hugh Town, provides an analysis of what makes it special and identifies a number of principles that will contribute to its regeneration. The document is available from the Cornwall Council Historic Environment Unit or can be viewed in the Planning Office or Library.


Supplementary Planning Documents

As part of the Local Development Framework, a variety of documents have been produced since 2004. These Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) help inform and assist in the application of policies when decisions are made on planning applications.

SPD produced included developments briefs for the redevelopment of Abbey Farm on Tresco, in relation to the development of affordable houses at Normandy and for the new school build at Carn Gwaval, both on St Mary’s. In addition, the following SPD have also been produced.

Isles of Scilly Design Guide

The Isles of Scilly Design Guide was approved in 2006 to complement the Local Plan and the AONB Management Plan. It offers clear and practical guidance in order to achieve high quality and sustainable design and ensure the special character of Scilly is retained and where possible enhanced.

Biodiversity and Geodiversity SPD

The Council of the Isles of Scilly has collaborated with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and Natural England to prepare the document - Biodiversity and Geological Conservation - Planning Good Practice Guidance for the Isles of Scilly. The document is designed to assist those who are submitting and determining planning applications in Scilly to understand how to ensure that biodiversity and, where relevant, geodiversity are protected, conserved and enhanced as a consequence of development.

Isles of Scilly Sustainable Energy Strategy

The Council of the Isles of Scilly, with the help of the Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership, has developed a Sustainable Energy Strategy for the islands.

The Isles of Scilly Sustainable Energy Strategy will complement the Local Plan, the AONB Management Plan and the Isles of Scilly Design Guide. It aims to raise awareness concerning the provision and consumption of energy and seeks to promote actions that will improve the energy profile of the Isles of Scilly. The intention is for the Sustainable Energy Strategy to be inspirational, helping to guide private, public and domestic energy users to consider the benefits of consuming energy in a more sustainable manner. The strategy will help make the islands more self sufficient and ideally a net exporter of energy. It seeks to reduce local impact on climate change, enhance the quality of life for those people living in fuel-poor homes and improve business performance by minimising the energy resources necessary to deliver an organisation's targets.

Strategic Transport Framework

The Strategic Transport Framework has had a long gestation: this reflects the complex and ever changing transport issues on the islands in relation to both mainland and interisland connections. It is recognised that there are no easy or obvious solutions that will resolve all of the islands' transport issues, but there are a range of actions and options set out in the Transport Framework which will, if implemented, assist in addressing some of the challenges facing the islands. However, the cost of transport provision, and its affordability for users, remains a fundamental issue over which the Council has little control. The inexorable rise of transport costs for both freight and passengers, and the limited nature of services, is having a significant and detrimental impact on the economy and welfare of Isles of Scilly residents. The scope and influence of the Transport Framework is constrained as many of the fundamental issues facing the islands are the result of commercial decisions.


Other Guidance

Non-Mains Drainage

There are a very limited number of public drainage systems to connect to on the Isles of Scilly meaning that private drainage arrangements such as septic tanks are often necessary. Guidance on the disposal of sewage where no mains drainage is available can be found here and there is a leaflet on small sewerage treatment systems.


Bats and Buildings

All bats and their roosts are protected by law. The Bats and Buildings leaflet tells you how to make sure your proposed development will not illegally harm bats. It will assist you in preparing or revising your planning application. This information is published because of the possibility of bats being present in your property. They can be discreet visitors and you may not have noticed their presence. They cause no harm to buildings and pose no health risk. These guidelines aim to provide the information needed to consider the effects of development on bats, what you must do if you wish to carry out work on your property and useful contacts for further help and advice.

***Please note that the licensed wardens from the Isles of Scilly Bat Group are no longer able to carry out Bat Surveys. Please consider this whilst reading the 'Bats and Buildings' leaflet as the procedure for obtaining a bat survey will change. It will mean having to employ an alternative organisation to assist you.