Planning policy and guidance

The council’s planning guidance consists of a series of documents that provide a positive approach to managing development by helping to assess planning applications and create a more vibrant, sustainable community to improve quality of life for all.

The Development Plan for Tower Hamlets is comprised of the London Plan (produced by the Mayor of London), Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans (currently, none are adopted – but the Isle of Dogs Neighbourhood Plan holds significant weight while a referendum on the plan is postponed).

The Development Plan is also influenced by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which sets out strategic policies for development and growth within England.

The policies we use to decide planning applications

Local Plan – guides and manages development in the borough.

Neighbourhood planning – enables the community to guide development in their local area through neighbourhood forums and neighbourhood plan documents.

Monitoring and programme reporting – provides further detail on the performance of council policies, deliverable housing sites and a project plan for emerging documents, through an annual monitoring report, Five Year Supply of Deliverable Housing Sites and Local Development Scheme (LDS).

Upcoming projects

New Local Plan (Regulation 18 consultation)

The council is consulting on a draft new Local Plan that will guide development in the borough until 2038. This is to gather feedback from the local community and stakeholders on the

  • new vision
  • policies
  • site allocations
  • supporting evidence
  • appendices for the new Local Plan.

Your input is a valuable part of the preparation process for the new Local Plan for Tower Hamlets. This will inform revisions to the new policies to help shape the future of the places we live, work and play.

The consultation on the draft new Local Plan is open for public comment and feedback from Monday 6 November 2023 to Monday 18 December 2023.

To check the StoryMap, supporting documents and complete the survey please visit our Let's Talk page.

New Local Plan - Town centres survey

As part of the development of the new Local Plan, NEMS Market Research Ltd will be carrying out telephone surveys on behalf of the council. The purpose of these surveys is to understand:

  • how residents and visitors are using the borough's town centres
  • how the borough's town centres can be enhanced

Those taking part will be selected and contacted directly by NEMS who will make sure that they survey a representative cross-section of the borough's population.

Please contact the Plan Making team if you have any questions.

London Legacy Development Corporation

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) came into being on 1 April 2012. It is the local planning authority for the Olympic Park and surrounding neighbourhoods including Bromley-by-Bow and Fish Island. Please see the LLDC website for details of their Local Plan and other planning guidance within their boundary.

Further information

You can email the team at or talk to us by phoning 020 7364 5000. 

If you would like to be kept informed about local planning policy updates, please email us to join our mailing list.