Opportunities in neighbourhood planning

2nd May, 2014

The Localism Act 2011 makes provision for local communities to prepare Neighbourhood Plans. 

The purpose of the Plans is to help guide the type and location of new development in local communities. Neighbourhood Plans are not intended to block new development and should reflect the Council’s own assessment of housing and other development needs.

Whilst neighbourhood planning presents a genuine opportunity to influence the nature of local development, so far uptake has been slow. It is predicted that only around 4% of neighbourhoods will have plans in place by 2015.  To date, plans have been approved for Thame, Oxfordshire; St James, Exeter; Upper Eden, Cumbria; Tattenhall, Cheshire; and Lynton and Lynmouth, Exmoor National Park.  Thame was the first community to allocate a site for housing in the Neighbourhood Plan which has subsequently been granted planning permission.

Of particular relevance to landowners and developers is the growing influence that Neighbourhood Plans are having on the planning process.  Councillors have refused planning permission against Officers’ advice for housing schemes in East Staffordshire and Cheshire West, due to potential conflict with emerging Neighbourhood Plans.

In recent months Pro Vision has successfully supported developers and landowners by promoting housing land through emerging Neighbourhood Plans in several local communities. 

To find out more about the neighbourhood planning process, please contact one of our planning team.