As part of the evidence base for the Local Plan review the previous role and function evidence was reviewed in 2015.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires taking account of the different roles and character of different areas with the aim of
promoting the vitality of our main urban areas
recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside
supporting thriving rural communities
The role and function report has therefore revised the previous matrix and includes additional criteria to allow better differentiation between rural settlements. Updated information has been received from parish and town councils whilst updated demographic data including population estimates have also been considered.
The results of the study suggest a more sophisticated settlement hierarchy based upon 5 settlement tiers. The evidence has been used to inform the Local Plan review, particularly the amended spatial strategy.
In order to be able to monitor whether the settlement hierarchy remains relevant, this evidence base is updated annually as part of the authority's monitoring report. The 2016 Update Report can be downloaded below.