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What is the Local Plan?

The documents that provide local planning policy are referred to as the 'Local Plan'. These documents describe the spatial strategy for Bolton. These are used to help plan for the long term growth of the borough and as the basis to determine planning applications. These key planning documents are supported by various types of detailed information about the local and sub-regional area, referred to as the evidence base and supplementary planning documents.

The Core Strategy is the key document which sets out the spatial vision and strategy for the district. It was adopted by the council in March 2011. 

The Allocations Plan allocates specific sites for specific land uses, such as housing or jobs, in line with the objectives of the Core Strategy.  It was adopted by the council in December 2014.

To view the Policies map in a larger window, please click here.

The GM Waste Plan was adopted on 1 April 2012 and provides a planning policy framework for sustainable waste management across Greater Manchester, and is an adopted part of Bolton's Local Plan.  The Waste Plan identifies sites and preferred areas for a range of waste management facilities required up until 2027.

The GM Minerals Plan came into force on 26 April 2013. It provides a clear guide to minerals operators and the public about locations where mineral extraction may take place; the safeguarding of sensitive environmental features and of mineral resources with potential for future extraction; and all aspects of environmental and resource protection including the sustainable transportation of minerals. 

The Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) contains information relating to Bolton, and is prepared on an annual basis. Please see the 'download' tab for this year's report.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge levied on new buildings and extensions to buildings according to their floor area. Money raised will help the council pay for schools, leisure centres, roads and other facilities to help support the growth of the borough. Charging authorities wishing to charge the levy must produce a charging schedule setting out the levy rates in their area.

The Local Development Scheme (LDS) is a project plan that contains information about the production timetable for Development Plan Documents. The council approved a new LDS in April 2016, and brought it into effect on 12th April 2016. The new LDS replaces the previous version.

The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) is a formal statement of the Council’s policy for involving people in its planning responsibilities. The current SCI was approved on 25th Jan 2011 and replaces the previous SCI which was adopted in February 2007. The SCI was updated to take account of changes made by government to how plans are prepared, to reflect experience gained from Core Strategy consultation and to incorporate a revised approach to neighbourhood consultation on planning applications.  

A Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is a Local Development Document that may cover a range of issues, thematic or site specific, and provides further detail of policies and proposals in a 'parent' Development Plan Document. It does not form part of the Development Plan, but is a material consideration on planning applications. Bolton currently has several adopted Supplementary Planning Documents.

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) will be the overarching framework within which the ten local planning authorities identify and manage the supply of land for jobs and new homes in Greater Manchester.

Greater Manchester is a successful and growing conurbation and this requires us to work together to produce a statutory joint Development Plan Document (DPD). 

You can find details of progress to date and ongoing details via the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework tab or direct from

AGMA are also providing an opportunity for any other organisations or individuals to register their interest in the GMSF, so that they receive further information and updates as it become available. Anyone who would like to register their interest to receive further information should email

Any further enquiries can be made through the GM Planning and Housing Team on 0161 237 4162

Neighbourhood Plans

Bolton Council have designated a Neighbourhood Area for the Blackrod Neighbourhood Plan, following a period of publicity in May and June 2016. A plan showing the area, which consists of the whole parish of Blackrod, is available on the downloads tab on this page. Blackrod Town Council is the relevant body for the Neighbourhood Plan.

The council has designated a Neighbourhood Area and Neighbourhood Forum for Over Hulton.  A plan showing the area, a copy of Over Hulton Neighbourhood Forum's constitution and contact details, are available on the downloads tab on this page. Over Hulton Neighbourhood Forum is the relevant body for the Neighbourhood Plan.

Bolton Council have designated a Neighbourhood Area for the Horwich Neighbourhood Plan. A plan showing the area, which consists of the whole parish of Horwich, is available on the downloads tab on this page. Horwich Town Council is the relevant body for the Neighbourhood Plan.

Planning Strategy

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