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 local level. Unlike a 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 planning application decisions 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 links at the bottom of this page.
Neighbourhood Planning and the COVID-19 Emergency
In May 2020, the Government updated Planning Practice Guidance on Neighbourhood Planning in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.
These updates were set out in new paragraph 107. In late Sept 2020, paragraph 107 was revised to include a reference to Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments.
To read paragraph 107 in full please read Planning Practice Guidance on Neighbourhood Planning
In summary, the updates cover:
- Referendums - now delayed until 6 May 2021 at the earliest
- Decision Making - and the weight that can be attached to a post-Examination Plan
- Examinations - the general rule remains that these should be conducted by written representation
- Public Consultation - general advice on effective community engagement and document availability
- CIL - guidance on CIL payment where referendums have been postponed
Other sources of information on Neighbourhood Planning
To help decide if a NP 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 lots of information online. We recommend you visit the Neighbourhood Planning website. Launched in March 2018, this is Locality's new home for advice, including: