What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Jan 8, 2020 | Neighbourhood Plan

A document that sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area – planning policies are used to decide whether to approve planning applications helping to future proof our area through to 2034.

Written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, to complement the technical planning document produced by the Local Planning Authority.

Neighbourhood planning was introduced by the Government in the Localism Act 2011. It is an important and powerful tool that gives communities statutory powers to help shape how the land use, building development, transport and other built environment assets in their communities develop or are redeveloped.

Neighbourhood Plans provide a very local level of detail to complement District Development Plans, identifying desirable new or upgraded housing and community facilities which need planning permission to bring about. Once fully approved Neighbourhood Plans carry the same legal force in planning approvals and built environment developments as the District Development Plan.

What sort of things does a Neighbourhood Plan contain?

  • What land gets built on or redeveloped.
  • What spaces get protected.
  • What new buildings will look like.
  • What gets done about housing and employment space.
  • What transport and traffic issues are identified and addressed.
  • What health, leisure, tourism and education facilities are provided for.
  • How the landscape and built environment are conserved.

Who prepares the Neighbourhood Plan

A Steering Group was set up by Kingsbridge Town Council at the start of 2018 to research, consult upon, write and gain approval for a Neighbourhood Plan for the Kingsbridge Town Council area and those of the immediate neighbouring parish council areas of West Alvington and Churchstow.

See Terms of Reference for Steering Group.

The Group work in collaboration with and on behalf of the whole community of the plan area; individual residents, businesses and interested local organisations.

To achieve this the Group:

  • Use a wide variety of methods, electronic, paper and face to face, to engage and communicate with the community and continuously test the developing planning priorities and the policies evolving from these.
  • Ensure that the consultation reaches the most diverse possible cross section of individuals in the community, including contacts through businesses, schools and community organisations and that the feedback from all groupings is taken into account in formulating policies.
  • Gather and analyse the necessary statistical data from official sources to ensure policy proposals are soundly based.
  • Take full account of Kingsbridge Town’s role as a commercial, community services and employment hub for the surrounding villages and rural area.
  • Build specific provisions and policies into the plan to facilitate progression of any community development projects which emerge as part of the research and consultation process. This might include, for example, the use of a Neighbourhood Development Order to pave the way for desirable buildings or infrastructure developments, or the identification of potential building sites to enable the building of low cost housing through a separately established Community Land Trust.
  • Work closely with those town and parish councillors and clerks who have experience of local planning issues and understand the planning history of the locality.
  • Use the gathered data to write neighbourhood planning policies as part of a planning document as described in the legislation, and consult widely on this in order to ensure it reflects local opinion and gains the support of the whole community.
  • Submit the Plan to a Government Planning Inspector
  • Set up a public referendum organised by the District Council to vote on its adoption.
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