Under the terms of the new Localism Act, communities can now choose to produce a neighbourhood plan, which will contain policies to help shape and deliver new development in their areas. Because this document will become a statutory (legal) document they have to produce it in a certain way.
The Government has set out regulations (external link) on how this would be done.
Neighbourhood Plans can set out a vision for an area and should contain planning policies for the use and development of land. A Neighbourhood Plan should be developed to help guide development, rather than to prevent it. Policies should cover local issues rather than strategic issues. For example, a Plan could cover where new homes, shops or offices should go and what green spaces should be protected.
Plans should be developed in partnership with the Parish Council, local community groups, Local Authority, statutory consultees, local residents and local businesses. They will need to be produced in conformity with Bassetlaw District Council’s Core Strategy and Development Management Policies Development Plan Document and national planning policy. If the Plan is adopted by the District Council it will become a statutory document that will be used when determining planning applications.
Neighbourhood planning cannot be used to block the building of the homes and businesses considered to be necessary to meet the District’s current and future needs. It can, however, influence the type, design, location and mix of new development.
Neighbourhood Planning can involve any of the following:
- Neighbourhood Development Plan - establishes the vision and planning policies for the use and development of land in your neighbourhood.
- Neighbourhood Development Order – allows the community to grant planning permission for types of new developments you want to see go ahead.
- Community Right to Build Order – is a type of Neighbourhood Development Order which gives communities the power to develop, for instance, small-scale housing and other facilities that you want without the need to apply for planning permission.
All of these documents will be subject to an independent examination and a local referendum before they can be adopted.
Who can lead on Neighbourhood Planning?
Neighbourhood Planning is led by the local community. A Neighbourhood Development Plan and a Neighbourhood Development Order can only be prepared by Parish or Town Council in Parished areas. In areas where there is no Parish or Town Council, a Neighbourhood Forum can lead on coordinating the neighbourhood planning for your area. This could be an existing community organisation or a new group but it will need to meet certain criteria. The Neighbourhood Forum and area boundary will need to be approved by the Council.
A Community Right to Build Order can be prepared by certain community organisations and not just the Parish or Town Council or Neighbourhood Forum.
Who will pay for the Plan?
Funding is available to help support local communities producing Neighbourhood Plans, from both central government and various other sources, such as lottery funding. The Council will assist with certain aspects of the Plan’s production and examination. It will also help any community wanting to produce a plan to apply for funding.
What help is available?
The Council can assist parishes and community groups in producing a Neighbourhood Plan.
In addition to advice from the Council, the following organisations may be able to offer assistance:
- My Community
- Planning Aid
- Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment
- Campaign to Protect Rural England
- Forum for Neighbourhood Planning
Last Updated on Tuesday, May 16, 2023