Why a Neighbourhood Plan?

In summary, the Neighbourhood Plan, is a way that a community can take some control of the planning in its area; many localities in England are already doing this.

With the extent of new developments proposed in Hilton, then it is right that the residents should have more of a say about what happens in the village!

There are over 1650 communities currently Neighbourhood planning, representing 8 million people, or 15% of the population of England. The Government has awarded the groups over £6.7 million to develop these plans.

When the plans have been fully developed they go to a local referendum for acceptance and lodged as a formal document with the Council. Thus far, there have been just 100 referenda in England with nearly 237,000 people casting their votes. Their collective views have been captured and now have to be recognised in future planning applications in that neighbourhood. It becomes mandatory.

The policies that the approved plans have covered, include:

  • Promoting social distinctiveness
  • Parking standards
  • Pedestrian and cycle routes
  • Housing, inc affordable housing
  • Designation of Local Green Spaces
  • Provision for recreational spaces
  • Encouraging new employment uses
  • Trees, woodlands.

…but a Hilton Neighbourhood Plan does not have to be limited to this; it can include the issues that are important to us.

This is a great opportunity for people to have a real voice in the future of Hilton. This is not a paper exercise – it has real “teeth”

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What is neighbourhood planning?

Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community’s needs and where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area

What are the benefits to a community of developing a neighbourhood plan or Order?

Neighbourhood planning enables communities to play a much stronger role in shaping the areas in which they live and work and in supporting new development proposals. This is because unlike the parish, village or town plans that communities may have prepared, a neighbourhood plan forms part of the development plan and sits alongside the local plan prepared by the local planning authority. Decisions on planning applications will be made using both the local plan and the neighbourhood plan, and any other material considerations

(From Government website on Neighbourhood Planning)

From : Plain English guide to the Planning System

37.When a neighbourhood plan has passed examination, achieved successful local support through referendum and is then formally ‘made’ by the Local Planning Authority, it will form part of the statutory ‘development plan’ which is used by the local planning authority in deciding planning applications. This status, the community-led nature of neighbourhood planning and extra funding that the community can access through the community infrastructure levy (see below) are real incentives for
communities to take up this right.

The Plan is a series of planning policies grouped into key areas:

  • Housing
  • Transport
  • Environment
  • Leisure, Amenities and services
  • Education
  • Business