Having agreed to start work on a Neighbourhood Plan, as required under the Localism Act 2011 the Council submitted an application to NSC for designation of the whole parish as what is known as the Neighbourhood Area. Public consultation on this closed 20 March and full details, including the five comments received, are available here. NSC confirmed the Neighbourhood Area designation on 24 April.
The Neighbourhood Plan should allow us to define planning and land use policies for the parish, although it needs to be appreciated that these must fit within higher level local authority and national land use policies, for example Green Belt policy, which cannot be varied locally. However, while it will need a significant commitment in terms of time and effort we feel that this will ultimately prove to be beneficial for the community. We will shortly be contacting residents and local businesses about the next stage and how you can help.
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan is a community-led plan and framework for guiding the future development and growth of a defined area. It may contain a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, or the allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development, subject to compliance with planning policy. All Neighbourhood Plans must meet certain conditions and relate to the use and development of land and associated social, economic and environmental issues. The Plan may address a wide range of policy issues (such as housing, employment, heritage and transport) or focus on one or two selected issues that are of particular importance in a local area.
A Neighbourhood Plan is subject to examination by a Planning Inspector and, if approved, a local referendum must then be undertaken. If there’s a majority agreement by the community the Plan will then form part of the Local Development Plan. This statutory status gives Neighbourhood Plans far more weight than informal local planning documents, such as parish plans, community plans and village design statements. A guide to Neighbourhood Plans is available here or contact the Council if you would like to know more.
Information on the Parish Plan (published in 2010) can be found here.