Neighbourhood planning was introduced by the Localism Act 2011; it is an important and powerful tool that gives communities statutory powers to shape how their communities develop.

In very simple terms, a neighbourhood plan is a document that sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area which is written by the local community, rather than by the Local Planning Authority.

The main stages of creating a neighbourhood plan are as follows:

  • Designating a neighbourhood area;
  • Community engagement & consultation;
  • Preparing a draft plan;
  • Submitting the draft plan to the local planning authority;
  • Independent examination;
  • Referendum; and
  • Adoption

A neighbourhood plan must meet certain specified ‘basic conditions’. These ensure plans contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, have regard to national policy and guidance, are in general conformity with adopted strategic local planning policies and comply with EU obligations. Despite the current negotiations on leaving the EU, these requirements will continue to apply for the time being, but may be replaced with a requirement to meet UK law at some point in the future.

We can provide advice and assistance to neighbourhood areas / neighbourhood forums during the preparation of their plans to ensure compliance with the relevant statutory provisions. We can also conduct legal compliance reviews prior to submission to the local planning authority to identify any issues before it is too late.

We can also assist local planning authorities in discharging their statutory duty of assisting communities in the preparation of their plans.

Please call us on 01252 617119 to find out how we can assist you.