The Localism Act 2011 introduced a range of new rights and powers. One of those rights was Neighbourhood Planning.
Neighbourhood Plans (NP) gives local communities the opportunity to develop a shared vision for their area. Each Plan should be ‘positively prepared’ and ‘add real value’ at the local level. Unlike Parish Plan or Village Design Statement, a successful NP has statutory weight and status. Once ‘made’ (adopted), it becomes part of the development plan for that area and will be used in the determination of planning applications where relevant.
Across our two districts around fifty parishes have embarked on the NP process. Of those, thirteen have been successfully ‘made’. Others are at an advanced stage while some are just getting going. You can find out more about the progress of each of these plans by exploring the Babergh and Mid Suffolk green tiles at the bottom of this page.
As we adjust to the 'new normal' many of our NP Groups are embracing technology and have been using virtual meetings etc. so they can continue to progress their Plans. We also know that many have engaged a professional consultant and, through them, should have received the latest Covid-19 advice in so far as it relates to their Plan. While we are in regular contact with those consultants we are also here to help and support you directly.
In response to the Covid-19 emergency, Government published an important update to Planning Practice Guidance in May 2020 (see Paragraph 107). These updates cover:
To read the Guidance in full please see: Planning Practice Guidance on Neighbourhood Planning
To help decide if a Neighbourhood Plan is right for your community see our Guide to Community-led Planning Tools (July 2016) which sets out some simple pros & cons of the options available.
There is also a wealth of information online. We recommend you bookmark the Neighbourhood Planning website. Launched in March 2018, this is Locality's new home for advice, including: