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What is neighbourhood planning?
Neighbourhood Planning is a key part of the Localism Act (2011) intended to give local communities greater power to shape development in their neighbourhoods by having a direct role in the formulation of planning policies at a local level.
Within Tewkesbury Borough, Neighbourhood Planning can only be undertaken by Town and Parish Councils, with Tewkesbury Borough Council providing technical support and assistance and making necessary decisions at key stages.
Neighbourhood Planning must be developed, resourced and led by the Town / Parish Council with input from local residents and businesses. Neighbourhood Development Plans are legal documents and once brought into legal force will be used to help decide planning applications in the Neighbourhood Area.
For further information please visit the My Community neighbourhood planning website.
What is a neighbourhood development plan?
Producing a Neighbourhood Development Plan, often referred to simply as a Neighbourhood Plan, provides an opportunity for communities to become directly involved in planning policy. A plan allows the local community to create a vision and planning policies for the use and development of land in a neighbourhood; for example, where new homes and businesses can be built.
Neighbourhood Plans can be general or more detailed, depending on what is important to local people. They must however, conform to the strategic policies in the Local Plan and should not be used to promote a lower level of development.
In Tewkesbury Borough, Neighbourhood Plans can only be produced by Town or Parish Councils and because they will be one of the planning documents for these 'Parishes', they have to be prepared according to a set procedure.
The Town or Parish Council must:
Apply to the Borough Council to have their Town or Parish officially 'designated' as a Neighbourhood [Plan] Area.
Once a designation is made no other organisation or body may be designated for that Neighbourhood Area until that designation expires or is withdrawn - this is more relevant to areas that do not have Town or Parish Councils where Forums must be designated to plan for a Neighbourhood Area.
Gather information on Parish residents' and businesses' views on how they want their local area to be planned, and relevant background information about their Neighbourhood Area.
Consult residents and businesses in their Neighbourhood Area on drafts of the plan.
Submit the final draft plan, as a Neighbourhood Plan Proposal to the Borough Council for a further round of consultation and Examination by an Independent Examiner.
If the Examiner subsequently declares that the plan meets certain specified 'Basic Conditions', it can then be subject to a Referendum, organised by the Borough Council, of all people eligible to vote in local elections in the area covered by the Neighbourhood Plan.
If a simple majority, of more than 50% of the people who vote, are in favour of the plan being used to help determine planning applications in the Neighbourhood Area and the Borough Council believe that it is compatible with European Union obligations and Human Rights conventions, they must formally adopt it to help decide planning applications in the Neighbourhood Area. Once brought into legal force it forms part of the Tewkesbury Borough Statutory Development Plan.
How to apply for designation of a neighbourhood area
The 'Neighbourhood Area' is the area to which a proposed Neighbourhood Plan will relate. Parish or Town Councils must apply to Tewkesbury Borough Council to designate a Neighbourhood Area. If you are thinking about preparing a neighbourhood development plan, please contact us to discuss your proposals by email at email@example.com or telephone on 01684 272151.
The application form and accompanying guidance note (below) explains the details required in order to accord with Section 5 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended).
Submitted neighbourhood plan applications
We are committed to publishing all applications received in our Local Planning Authority Area (LPAA), in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and Part 2, Regulation 6 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.
If an application is received by Tewkesbury Borough Council for a Neighbourhood Area which extends beyond the administrative boundaries of the applicant Town or Parish Council, and it is not a joint application between adjoining councils, there will be a statutory 6 week consultation period on the designation.
Approved neighbourhood plan applications
Currently there are 14 areas designated for the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan in our borough. Four of these are 'combined' Parish areas where two or more Town or Parish Councils have agreed to work together on the preparation of a joint Neighbourhood Plan.
Neighbourhood plans going to referendum
Further Information on any planned referendums and the results of recent referendums will be published on our Elections 2018 webpage.
Funding for neighbourhood planning groups
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) increased the level of funding available to all groups from £8,000 to £9,000 from 1st April 2016. This additional funding can be used by groups to fund the completion of their Neighbourhood Development Plans. DCLG hope that some groups will use this funding to obtain more information for their evidence base, but this is not mandatory.
All groups writing a Neighbourhood Development Plan or Neighbourhood Development Order are eligible to apply for up to the £9,000 grant. Groups facing a range of complex issues are able to apply for further support from the programme.
Further support comes in two forms:
Technical support provided by AECOM - there are a range of technical support packages that groups are able to apply for as and when they become needed; and
a further grant of up to £6,000, which groups facing a range of complex issues are eligible to apply for, giving a total grant ceiling of £15,000 in the period 2015-18.
If your group received £8,000 in funding, before the 1st April 2016, and you are still working on your plan, you may apply for further funding up to the maximum of £9,000 (or £15,000 for complex groups). A rolling programme of applications is underway and is expected to be operated throughout the year.