Neighbourhood Planning

How and why have you changed the housing requirement figures for Small Rural Settlements since the last version of the Local Plan?

The housing requirement figures for Small Rural Settlements have been adjusted in order to reflect changes to the spatial strategy for the District as a whole, and to reflect the time elapsed since development on the Local Plan began. The changes are explained in more detail in the Bassetlaw Rural Settlement Study 2020, available from the Supporting Documents section of the website. The reduced requirements mean that less development is required in Small Rural Settlements in order to meet District targets, and communities are empowered to consider if and how to go above that figure.

Has the 20% cap on development in rural settlements now been removed, and how will this work?

Yes, the 20% cap has now been removed, with the Local Plan solely identifying housing requirements. This change reflects the reduced housing requirement figures, and the views of consultees that the cap had the potential to encourage more development than was actually required or possible in some settlements, particularly smaller ones. Instead of the cap, any growth over the stated housing requirement figures will be at the discretion of each community, to be evidenced, documented, and supported in a neighbourhood plan. It is considered that this will ensure that growth projections are better suited to the individual needs of each area.

How should we use the Draft Bassetlaw Local Plan when developing our own Neighbourhood Plan?

Whilst the details may have changed since the last Draft of the Local Plan, the principles have not. Neighbourhood plans should be in general conformity with the 2011 Bassetlaw Core Strategy until it is replaced. However, to a lesser degree, Plans may also reflect the reasoning and evidence supporting the emerging Local Plan, in particular the housing requirement figures, which accord with paragraphs 65 and 66 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Our settlement was previously allocated a housing requirement but no longer has one; please can you explain the situation?

The criteria for settlements to be included in the Small Rural Settlements class have been amended. Some settlements have been downgraded to the Other Settlements class, due to their size or limited level of service provision. A number of settlements in the Small Rural class now have a zero housing requirement, due to flood risk. A more detailed discussion of the changes is provided in the Bassetlaw Rural Settlement Study 2020, available from the Supporting Documents section of the website.

Our Neighbourhood Plan has sought to allocate sites to meet the 20% figure provided previously; where do we stand now?

The Bassetlaw Local Plan provides the scope for Neighbourhood Plans to propose more housing growth than the housing requirement and so your Plan will still be in conformity with this. Any planned growth above the housing requirement is at the discretion of individual parishes, and subject to justification and community support, so discussion at a local level will be worthwhile in order to understand how people perceive the proposals in your Neighbourhood Plan compared to the figures in the Draft Bassetlaw Local Plan. BDC will be glad to assist in considering individual situations, and would particularly welcome your views as part of this consultation.

Should we review our Neighbourhood Plan to align with this latest draft of the Local Plan?

The best way to decide whether your Neighbourhood Plan should be reviewed is to undertake an assessment of how well it is functioning and whether it still meets the needs and aspirations of the local community. This assessment should also factor-in changes in the local context since the Plan was developed, and changes in the wider policy context, both at national and district level. The emerging Bassetlaw Local Plan will form part of this, but it should be reflected that it is a draft, and so changes could still be possible before it is adopted.

The Rural Monitoring Table shows that we have already met our housing requirement figure; does that mean we will not see any further development?

Completions figures in the Rural Monitoring Table will not change once entered, but it is important to note that figures for commitments are liable to change, given that planning permissions can lapse if not enacted. For this reason, we recommend that communities keep a watch on the progress of applications as, should a permission lapse, the overall figure will be adjusted back down accordingly.

Last Updated on Thursday, December 17, 2020