The Localism Act 2011 introduced a range of new rights and powers. One of those rights was Neighbourhood Planning.
Neighbourhood Plans (NPs) 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 adopted ('made'), it becomes part of the development plan for that area. It will be used in the determination of planning applications where relevant.
Across both districts around 50 parishes have embarked on the NP process. Of those, 13 NPs have been successfully adopted. Others are at an advanced stage, or are in earlier stages.
To find out more about the progress of each NP in Babergh and Mid Suffolk use the green tiles at the bottom of this page.
Neighbourhood Planning and the COVID-19 Emergency
In response to COVID-19, the Government published an important update to Planning Practice Guidance in May 2020 (see Paragraph 107). These updates cover:
- Referendums (now delayed until May 2021 at the earliest)
- Decision Making (in reference to Post-Examination Plans and the weight that can be attached to them)
- Examinations (the guidance around conducting these via written reps where possible remains)
- Public Consultation (general advice on effective community engagement and document availability)
To read the Guidance in full please read Planning Practice Guidance on Neighbourhood Planning
Other sources of information on Neighbourhood Planning
To help decide if a Neighbourhood Plan is right for your community read our Guide to Community-led Planning Tools (July 2016). This sets out some simple pros & cons of the options available.
There is also a wealth of information online. We recommend you visit the Neighbourhood Planning website. Launched in March 2018, this is Locality's new home for advice, including: