Planning & Infrastructure Forum Blog

Local plans to deliver opportunity.

A blog by Carl Copestake

Chair of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Planning & Infrastructure Forum

The hot topic with the Planning & Infrastructure Forum is the local plans for Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme, which are both set to be unveiled by each council later this year (with adoption of the plans in 2022/23).

Local plans are prepared by each Local Planning authority, namely the Council authority for the area.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that the planning system should be genuinely plan-led with succinct and up-to-date plans providing a positive vision for the future of an area and a framework for addressing housing needs and other economic social and environmental priorities including sustainability.

When the two local plans come into effect, they will replace the Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent Core Spatial Strategy. Originally intended as a joint plan the authorities have since decided to produce their own plans which will have a massive (and hopefully positive) impact on the local economy particularly for landowners and businesses looking to relocate and /or expand, and for inward investment.

Planning officers from both Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme attend the Planning & Infrastructure Forum and are aware of the Chambers’ intention both to be a friend to both councils whilst facilitating an opportunity for feedback to aid crucial decisions during the final months of plan formulation.

At the last meeting of the forum in January planning officers spoke about their respective plans and engaged in a discussion with forum members.

Forum members raised some very pertinent points on how current changes to planning, such as Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and the Government’s Planning White Paper, can be incorporated into a local plan which is going to last for 15-20 years.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council had their Local Plan adopted in September 2020 and they are now concentrating on meeting the full housing and employment needs in their area and already have sites earmarked for use.

There will be supply chain opportunities for local businesses in the infrastructure and construction phases as well as well as ongoing service provision.

Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme planning departments have each agreed to host a webinar about the local plan and how businesses can get involved in the consultations. The Stoke webinar is set to take place on 17th May and Newcastle’s is to be confirmed but will be in the autumn.

If you would like to register your interest for the webinars, please contact Vicki Hardie:

To find out more about what we do or if you are considering joining the Planning and Infrastructure Forum, please contact me:

If you want to talk about any business issues, you can call the Chambers switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email:

To join the Forum discussion click here Hot Topics — Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce

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