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  • Writer's pictureDAC Planning Team

Producing a Neighbourhood Plan: The Stages

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Neighbourhood planning is a transformative process allowing communities to shape the development and growth of their local areas. This grassroots planning process embodies the principle of giving power back to the people, enabling them to create a shared vision that truly reflects their needs and aspirations. Parish councils, town councils and neighbourhood forums can produce a neighbourhood plan.

Embarking on this journey involves navigating through six key stages, each critical for the successful adoption and implementation of a neighbourhood plan.

1. Designation of the Neighbourhood Area: The initial step is to have the plan area officially designated as a neighbourhood planning area by the local authority. This stage sets the geographical scope within which the neighbourhood plan will be developed.

2. Preparing a Draft Neighbourhood Plan: This second stage involves gathering and analysing local data, engaging with the community to understand their aspirations and concerns, and starting to draft the plan. It is crucial to develop a vision and objectives that reflect the community's desires for the future of their neighbourhood.

3. Public Consultation: Once a draft plan has been prepared, it is shared with the public for feedback. This required six-week period allows residents, the local authority and stakeholders to contribute their views, ensuring the plan reflects the community's needs and aspirations.

4. Submitting the Plan: After incorporating feedback, the plan, along with supporting documents such as a Basic Conditions Statement and an environmental assessment, is submitted to the local authority. This submission marks the readiness of the plan for formal examination.

5. Independent Examination: An examiner reviews the plan to ensure it meets the basic conditions and legal requirements. This stage is crucial for ensuring the plan's robustness and its conformity with strategic local planning policies.

6. Referendum and Adoption: The final stage is a public referendum, where residents vote on whether to adopt the plan. If the plan receives support from 50% or more residents, it becomes part of the local development plan, guiding future development decisions in the neighbourhood area.

These stages collectively empower communities to have a say in the future development of their area, making neighbourhood planning a powerful tool for localism. By following these steps, towns and neighbourhoods can ensure that their plans are both reflective of their aspirations and robust enough to stand up to scrutiny, leading to more sustainable and community-focused development.


How we can help

DAC Planning provides specialist neighbourhood planning support.

For a discussion on how we can assist you, please get in touch with the team: / 01206 259281

This information is for general informative purposes only. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, DAC Planning accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from its use.

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