Neighbourhood Plans - a new approach to planning

The Localism Act, was given Royal Assent in November last year and The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 came into force on 6th April 2012. This gives Town and Parish Councils the ability to produce a Neighbourhood Plan ('NHP').

What is an NHP?
It has been described as a tool for managing change. It can set out a vision for an area, and describe planning policies for the use and development of land. It is about local rather than strategic issues; it might cover where new shops, offices or homes would be acceptable, and what green spaces should be protected. The vision will cover the next 15 to 20 years.

Why is this important?
If all the necessary steps are achieved, the District Council must adopt the NHP, and it becomes a legal part of planning policy.

How is an NHP produced?
The Parish Council has registered the boundary of the Parish as the defining Neighbourhood Plan area and has set up an NHP working group who are gathering evidence. At the moment, the four villages are being looked at separately, and will then be drawn together into the Parish NHP. Community engagement, with local businesses and individuals is actively proceeding. Once the NHP is produced it will be circulated in draft form for comment before submission of the final document to MSDC. The District Council must check for legal compliance, and carry out further 'pre-examination' public consultation. An Independent Examiner must approve the plan, and finally a referendum of residents of the NHP area will be held. If over 50% of the voters agree, the NHP will be adopted.

Neighbourhood Plan
Slaugham Neighbourhood Plan
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