Following the Localism Act in 2011, local communities can initiate and produce Plans that will be part of the Local Development Framework for their neighbourhood area. They can also require the making of Orders that will grant planning permission for developments they want to see in their area.
By forming a qualifying body (see below), the local communities will be enabled to submit to the Council a proposal for the making of:
- Neighbourhood Development Plans, which will set out policies for the future development of their areas and will be part of the Local Development Framework for their area; or
- Neighbourhood Development Orders, which will grant planning permission for certain kinds of development within a specified area in their locality. A Community Right to Build Order is a special kind of Neighbourhood Development Order, granting planning permission for development schemes, such as a housing scheme.
Any proposal should be in accordance with National planning policies, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework, the strategic policies as contained in the Council’s Core Strategy and saved Unitary Development Plan policies and with EU obligations, such as the Habitats, Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment Directives. Any new proposal should promote the achievement of sustainable development.
Process for preparing a Neighbourhood Plan or Neighbourhood Development Order
The Neighbourhood Plans/Development Orders will be prepared and consulted on by the community before being subject to independent examination. Once a Neighbourhood Area, and where relevant, a Neighbourhood Forum have been designated, the procedural steps for preparing a Neighbourhood Plan or Development Order are as follows:
- The Qualifying Body publishes the proposed Neighbourhood Plan / Development Order and consults on this for a minimum 6 week period. The Qualifying Body sends a copy of the Neighbourhood Plan / Development Order to the Council.
- Following the consultation period, the Qualifying Body will need to consider any comments which have been made and, where necessary, amend the Neighbourhood Plan / Development Order. The Qualifying Body then submits the proposal to the Council for consideration. The Council publishes it and consults for a minimum 6 week period. Then it makes a decision to either refuse the proposal or approve it and submits it to Independent Examination.
- The Council with the Qualifying Body’s consent appoints an Independent Examiner and submits all relevant documentation for examination. The Independent Examiner’s report may either:
- approve the proposal as submitted or with modifications. If the Council agrees with the Examiner’s recommendation it should submit the Neighbourhood Plan / Development Order to a Referendum; or
- refuse it, in which case the process stops here, unless the Council adopts a different opinion to the Examiner, in which case it may ask for a further Independent Examination.
- In situations where the Council has decided that the proposal should be submitted to a referendum, and when the Neighbourhood Area contains a business area, two referenda should take place.
- If the outcome of the Referendum is that more than half of the voting people have voted in favour of the Neighbourhood plan / Development Order, the Council will adopt it and it will be part of the Local Framework for the Neighbourhood Area concerned. If two referenda took place, (because part or the whole of the Neighbourhood Area consists of a business area), if only in one of the referenda more than half of the voting people have voted in favour of proposal, the Council can decide whether or not to adopt the proposal.
Qualifying Bodies (Parish/Town Councils, Neighbourhood Forums and Community Organisations)
Neighbourhood Area Applications
Current Neighbourhood Area and Neighbourhood Forum Consultations
Further support and information