The Neighbourhood Plan

barmoor castleLowick deserves a larger say in the way the Planning Framework is implemented in  the village. John Grundy’s recent talk to the Heritage Group on the buildings of Lowick inspired us to take a step forward with this idea, and now the County Council has approved our application to devise our Local Neighbourhood Development Plan.

What is a Neighbourhood Development Plan?

The following is a shortened version of the advice available from HMG [see this link: NPG]

Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. 

Neighbourhood planning is not a legal requirement but a right which communities in England can choose to use.

What are the benefits to a community of developing a neighbourhood plan ?

Neighbourhood planning enables communities to play a much stronger role in shaping the areas in which they live and work and in supporting new development proposals. This is because unlike the parish, village or town plans that communities may have prepared, a neighbourhood plan forms part of the development plan and sits alongside the Local Plan prepared by the local planning authority. Decisions on planning applications will be made using both the Local Plan and the neighbourhood plan, and any other material considerations.

Neighbourhood planning provides the opportunity for communities to set out a positive vision for how they want their community to develop over the next ten, fifteen, twenty years in ways that meet identified local need and make sense for local people. 

Five Steps

There are 5 steps to take in preparing a successful Neighbourhood Plan.

  1. Area Designation, where the village agrees what the neighbourhood area is.
    1. this is mapped clearly, showing the boundaries.
    2. We explain why we believe the area is appropriate to for neighbourhood planning purposes.
    3. A 6 week consultation period commences where comments from the community are invited, following the application to the County Council
  2. Preparing and Publicising the Plan
    1. Gathering information
    2. Establishing priorities and aspirations
    3. Establishing a Vision
    4. Purpose, goals and aspirations
    5. Draft Planning Policies
    6. Seeking comments from those who live, work and own businesses in the area
  3. Submitting the Plan
    1. Map,
    2. the Draft Plan,
    3. Statement of Meeting Basic Conditions [national planning laws, local planning framework objective and EU obligations and human rights requirements.
    4. Consultation statement about the process, the issues raised, and how they were dealt with.
    5. The submitted plan will be open for further comment for 6 weeks.
  4. Independent Examination
    1. The independent Examiner will determine whether the plan meets legal requirements and conditions, ans whether a referendum is required.
  5. Local Referendum, if required. +50% of the voters must approve the plan, and if they do, it becomes new planning policy.