What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
The Localism Act 2011 gave people the democratic right to be involved in drawing up a plan for their local area that truly reflects local people's views.
Production of a Neighbourhood Development Plan (referred to simply as a Neighbourhood Plan) is a way of helping local communities to influence the Planning decisions in the future that will affect the area in in which they live and work
Creating the plan is an opportunity for everyone in the locality to take part in developing a vision for the future of the Parish, to set objectives, strategy and policies which can have a determination in planning applications.
When it is written, the Neighbourhood Plan can:
- Develop a shared vision for our neighbourhood plan area
- Control the way that land is used for housing, businesses, shops and leisure
- Protect green spaces and influence the design of new buildings
- Tackle difficult issues and support the things that make our parish a great place to live, work and visit.
The stages of a Neighbourhood Plan
- Decide if a Neighbourhood plan is right for the Parish
- Establish the Neighbourhood plan area
- Determine what needs to be achieved - your 'Vision and Objectives'
- 'How to achieve it' by Developing the plan
- Appoint Independent Examiner who will scrutinise the plan for adoption
- Obtain community support for the plan via Referendum which requires 50% +1 of parishioner turnout
- Adoption of our plan by SSDC giving it equal weight to the SSDC Local Plan for the district
Where are we?
The Parish Council decided the time was right to develop a neighbourhood plan and appointed a working party led by Mike Martin. The Neighbourhood plan area was submitted to and subsequently approved by SSDC :
For the plan to be prepared in accordance with the Locality Act, an expert, Jo Witherden has been commissioned to guide us through the process. Jo has been involved with over thirty Neighbourhood Plans in Somerset and Dorset and will help us to form a good workable plan. For a fuller understanding of the issues, our approach and timescales see the Scoping Report
This work does cost money and a grant has been obtained to finance it.
It is hoped to produce the plan by early 2021 and once approved be adopted by South Somerset District Council as part of SSDC Revised Local Plan due to be published in late 2020 or early 2021
In order to create a credible and successful Neighbourhood Plan we need to demonstrate we have consulted widely, working together with Parishioners, Business and Landowners, collecting detailed information about the local area.
This data will be used to assess housing and employment need, as well as transport, ecology, heritage and building land availability in order to create a plan that is evidenced based
Once written the neighbourhood plan will be subjected to external scrutiny by submission to an independent planning inspector. Policies produced by our Neighbourhood Plan cannot block but they can influence development of the SSDC Local Plan
The Inspector will ensure our proposal is compliant, workable and of a decent quality
If approved by the Inspector, the plan will be subjected to a local referendum whereby 50% +1 of votes cast by parishioners on the electoral role must be in favour of its adoption.
Once adopted by SSDC or 'Made' as it is known, the Neighbourhood Plan cannot be ignored when planning applications are decided by SSDC, Planning Inspectors or the Government.