According to the Physical Planning Act (2002), the development plan is the main instrument for land and development planning, this shall set out (Art.9): 
(a) a statement of the principal aims and objectives with respect to the development and other use of land in the area;
(b) a report on the existing conditions of the area

(c) a statement of the policies, proposals, and programmes for the future development and use of land in the area including principles for regulating the use and development of land and measures for the maintenance and improvement of the environment;
(d) a reasoned justification of the policies and proposals for the future development and use of land in the area. 

In addition, the development plan may: 


(a) define the sites of proposed roads, public and other buildings and works, or the allocation of land for agricultural, residential, industrial or other purposes of any class, and the conditions under which such development should be carried out;
(b) designate any area as an area which should not be developed due to its susceptibility to aircraft hazard or to flooding, erosion, subsidence, instability or other condition of the physical environment;
(c) make proposals for the preservation of buildings, sites and other features of special architectural, cultural, historical or archaeological interest;
(d) provide for any of the matters set out in the First Schedule as the Authority considers appropriate to the nature and scope of the proposed plan;
(e) designate as a comprehensive planning area any area which in the opinion of the Authority needs to be planned as a whole for one or more of the purposes of development, redevelopment, improvement or conservation.