WHAT IS A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN?
The Localism Act of 2011 devolves more decision-making powers from central government into the hands of individuals, communities and councils. The Act gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood through the production of their own Neighbourhood Plan.
A Neighbourhood Plan gives Communities direct powers to develop a shared vision for their Neighbourhood
Empower the community to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built and what infrastructure should be provided
Gives a powerful set of tools for local people to ensure that they get the right type of development for their community where their ambitions align with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider area
Sits alongside Council’s Local Plan
Applies to a well-defined area
Find out more about the government's Neighbourhood Planning system here.
A Neighbourhood Plan is formulated by a group of concerned local people who are a collection of residents, businesses owners, institution representatives and elected Councillors who comprise the Neighbourhood Forum. These people who represent different aspects of the local community and will be responsible for preparing the Neighbourhood Plan.
OUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
By taking advantage of this right to create our own Neighbourhood Plan, we can have a much greater say in the future planning and direction of our neighbourhood.
Our plan will need to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework and Guidance as well as with the strategic policies in the Council’s 2016 Local Plan. It must not contradict the Council’s Local Plan, but can build on it to give more detail and focus as to how the Council’s plan should be interpreted and implemented within our area. Once completed our Neighbourhood Plan will be inspected to ensure that it does not diverge from the Council’s current Local Plan or the Mayor of London's London Plan.
We are exploiting the fact that the Council is currently finalising its latest Local Plan for 2016 to 2031, and we are aligning our proposals with the structure of their plan. Having our Plan follow the Council’s Plan also means that we focus on areas where the Council's Borough wide plan needs sharpening up to meet our needs.
Our Neighbourhood Plan will sit alongside the Council’s Local Plan policies but give more focus for our well-defined Forum area - click here to see map of area covered by our Neighbourhood Plan.
The Plan’s scope will include:
need for new homes
architectural design guidelines
local shopping centres
health and leisure facilities
In particular we will be looking at building development (in terms of its quality, look, feel, usage and location), improved transport infrastructure links which will enhance the quality of life for all. We are also determined to ensure there is increased protection to existing sites and buildings and all green spaces in the area, which are much loved and valued by the community.
We are currently formulating the details of Neighbourhood Plan’s contents and its proposals. Click here for more details.
It is essential that we consult with the wider community to get their views. We have already held several public meetings to flush out key areas of concern and a number of common themes are emerging which we will build into our Plan. Contact us to find out how to get involved.
We believe that having a Neighbourhood Plan in place will give local people much more say in the future planning and direction of our neighbourhood with regard to building development (in terms of their quality, look, feel, usage and location) and improved transport infrastructure links which will enhance the quality of life for all. We are also determined to ensure there is increased protection to existing sites and buildings and all green spaces in the area, which are much loved and valued by the community.
WHEN WILL THIS HAPPEN?
Now we are designated the Plan’s policies and proposals can be formulated.
It is essential that the wider community is informed and can make their views known. We will be consulting with residents and businesses within the plan area to ensure that our proposals have the widest possible support.
When the Draft Plan is completed, two rounds of public consultation will be undertaken, each for six weeks, followed by amendments if necessary. One consultation must be conducted by the Forum and the second by the Council. It will then be reviewed by an independent examiner for soundness. Finally, a local referendum will be held where everyone in the Forum area can vote on whether the Plan should be put into force. A 50% +1 majority vote of those who take part in the referendum is required to approve the Plan. Once approved its policies can become material consideration in making decisions on planning applications.
Our current indicative timescales for this are:
2017 – Spring 2018: Consultation with all residents within the Plan Area on the Draft Plan
Autumn 2018: Plan submitted to the Local Authority for independent inspection for soundness
End 2018: If satisfactory, a referendum to be held where all residents in the Forum Area get to vote on whether the Plan should be put into force
These timescales are approximate as we are finding that by the very action of creating our plan we are causing change which, in many cases, is beneficial.
It is important that we capitalise on such changes and adapt our plan accordingly before it becomes locked in stone. Once the referendum has taken place it will be hard to subsequently change the Plan.