Neighbourhood Plans were introduced by the Localism Act 2011. They enable communities to have a say about the development of their local area by introducing local planning policies which become part of the statutory Development Plan.
There are several basic stages in the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan:
- Define the Neighbourhood Area
- Prepare and consult on the Neighbourhood Plan
- Submit the Neighbourhood Plan to South Norfolk Council
- Independent examination
- Community referendum
- Legal adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan by South Norfolk Council
Responsibility for preparing a Neighbourhood Plan rests with the relevant parish or town council(s), or, in cases where there is no such body, a properly constituted neighbourhood forum.
Once a Neighbourhood Plan is adopted it forms part of the wider Development Plan which means it must to be taken into account when assessing planning applications for new development in that area.
South Norfolk Council supports parish and town councils in the district that are developing a Neighbourhood Plan and can provide advice and guidance throughout the process. The Council will also organise the independent examination and referendum stages.
Groups working on Neighbourhood Plans can apply for up to £10,000 to the national body Locality, to help fund their Neighbourhood Plan. Alongside this, we also run a Neighbourhood Planning Grant scheme to help fund the production of Neighbourhood Plans in the district. The fund is dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis to parish or town councils, with up to £6,000 available per Neighbourhood Plan.
You can find out more about Neighbourhood Plans locally and the guidance that is available at the Council’s Community Led Planning Blog.
The Planning Practice Guidance website provides further information on the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans. The main, national source of support for neighbourhood planning is Locality. You can visit their neighbourhood planning support website here.
Find out more about current Neighbourhood Plans in South Norfolk.