Neighbourhood Planning was introduced by the Localism Act in 2011. This led to the creation of an organization called Locality to help implement this new law. Locality is a national membership network for community organisations. Locality have provided a guide on how to produce a NDP on their Neighbourhood Planning website. The following is a brief summary of the Process. If you want more detailed information then follow the links in the Document Library.
There are three main stages for producing a neighbourhood plan:
Stage 1 - Getting Established
The first step for parish/town councils or prospective neighbourhood forums wishing to prepare a neighbourhood plan is to submit their proposed neighbourhood area to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) for designation. For our Parish the LPA is Wealden District Council.
The LPA must gather data on the local area and build an evidence base.
The LPA must arrange publicity and engagement with the public to inform them of what is happening.
Stage 2 - Preparing the Plan
The LPA must Draft the Plan.
The LPA must Consult with the Public as the Draft Plan emerges. This will inform the development of a vision and objectives for the plan.
The Vision and Objectives will in turn will inform the formulation of policy and, if appropriate, site allocations.
Community engagement and consultation will be necessary at all stages of the plan-making process.
The LPA must ensure that the Draft Plan meets the basic conditions.
The LPA must submit the Draft Plan for pre-submission consultation to the community for a period of at least 6 weeks (This is known as Regulation 14 Consultation).
Stage 3- Bringing the Plan into Force
The proposed neighbourhood plan will be submitted to the LPA, which will check that proper procedures have been followed in its preparation and that any necessary assessments accompany the Plan. The Plan must be accompanied by a Consultation Statement and a Basic Conditions Statement.
The LPA will then publicise the Plan for a period of at least 6 weeks (This is known as Regulation 16 Consultation). The LPA will then arrange for an independent examination.
The LPA will also organise a public referendum, subject to the plan meeting legal requirements. The LPA will publish information about the referendum and the date of the poll. If more than 50% of those voting in the referendum vote "Yes" then the NDP becomes part of the statutory development plan for the LPA.
Once in place, the Plan must be monitored to ensure that its policies are being properly applied.
The Plan must be updated if planning legislation or national policy changes and this affects the Plan.