The Localism Act (2011) introduced new rights and powers to allow local communities to shape new development by coming together to prepare neighbourhood plans.
Neighbourhood planning can be taken forward by two types of body - town and parish councils or 'neighbourhood forums'. Neighbourhood forums are community groups that are designated to take forward neighbourhood planning in areas without parishes. It is the role of the local planning authority to agree who should be the neighbourhood forum for the neighbourhood area.
Neighbourhood forums and parish councils can use new neighbourhood planning powers to establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood. These are described legally as 'neighbourhood development plans.'
In an important change to the planning system communities can use neighbourhood planning to permit the development they want to see - in full or in outline – without the need for planning applications. These are called 'neighbourhood development orders.'
Local councils will continue to produce development plans that will set the strategic context within which neighbourhood development plans will sit. Neighbourhood plans must be in general conformity with strategic policies in the Core Strategy.
We have produced three factsheets which set out more information about Neighbourhood Planning and how local communities can get involved. These can be viewed below:
Further sources of information on Neighbourhood Planning can be viewed by clicking on the following links: