What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
How is it different from other Plans?
- It is the local plan about the use and development of Land and Buildings in the area
- It provides an opportunity for the local population to specify its growth and development plans for the next 15 to 25 years
- Its preparation is entirely community led
- Once it has been approved, it sits alongside the District Plan and the District Council has a statutory duty to take account of it in its decision making
- This will be the first time that very local views will carry statutory weight in the planning process
However, a Neighbourhood Plan cannot:
- Block all development
- Be inconsistent with the Government’s National Planning Framework (NPPF)
- Propose less growth than specified in the District Plan
- Be prepared without input or support from the local communities
- Deal with Suffolk County Council matters such as Minerals, Waste or major Infrastructure
Benefits to the community
- An opportunity to produce a local vision for the community which once independently examined and through a successful referendum, becomes part of the adopted planning policy framework
- Greater control of the spatial development of the communities through local policies including where development occurs, the type/style of development and materials used
- Community engagement and direct involvement in plans for the community
- Once Neighbourhood Plan has been approved, 25% of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) receipts from development in the parish goes directly to the parish to spend on supporting growth
- There will be some cost to the Parish, though expense can be mitigated through grant support
- To succeed the community must make a significant time commitment over a period typically 18-24 months.
Risks in developing a Neighbourhood Plan
- It is possible that a proposed Neighbourhood Plan could fail at the “examination” or public referendum stages - this risk can be mitigated through full engagement of the communities in setting out a collectively agreed view of what people want.
Risks in not having a Neighbourhood Plan
Communities that do not have a Neighbourhood Plan can be seriously disadvantaged.
- Development can much more easily be imposed from above on those communities that do not have a Neighbourhood Plan
- Local people will have limited say and influence on where development takes place, on how much development (i.e. number of houses) is brought forward
- Communities will be less able to inform speculative applications from developers looking for sites to bring forward sustainable development
Examples of matters that a Neighbourhood Plan can address
(not an exclusive list)