It is a community-led project for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. It is not a tool to prevent development and it will not affect planning applications that have already been submitted. It may contain visions, aims, planning policies and proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development, or preventing specific types of development in specific locations.
Neighbourhood Plans have statutory authority. This gives them far more weight than some other local documents, such as parish plans, community plans and village design statements, and local authorities or planning inspectors have to make decisions on the basis of the polices contained in the Neighbourhood Plan
The scope and complexity of a plan can vary. It could be wide-ranging, or deal with just one or two issues only. We’ve gone for just one issue to start with, housing. This is to play catch-up and tie in with EHDC publishing their new planning policy, due in December 2015.
Over the life of the plan there will be a continuing requirement to update it. It’s a living document. There are also other areas to branch out into, like education, transport and other infrastructure.
Settlements that have a Neighbourhood Plan can directly influence how infrastructure funding is spent, benefiting from an increase to 25% (from 15%) of the Community Infrastructure Levy revenues from any relevant development that takes place in their area.