What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
It is a document, written by the local community, which sets out planning policies for a defined Neighbourhood Area.
It is a framework to guide the planning of future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. The planning policies will be used by the Local Planning Authority when deciding whether planning applications should be granted.
It is a powerful tool with real legal weight which helps to ensure a community gets the right type of development in the right places.
As it is created by local people, it means that it can reflect their priorities for their area.
It is a way of helping local communities influence the planning of the area in which they live and work. It can be used to:
- Develop a shared vision for your neighbourhood.
- Choose where new homes, shops, offices and other development should be built
- Identify and protect important local green spaces.
- Influence what new buildings should look like.
It cannot be used as a way to stop development set out in the District Council’s Local Plan.
Who creates the Neighbourhood Plan?
The creation of the North Weald Bassett Neighbourhood Plan is led by North Weald Bassett Parish Council with the support of volunteers. However, the plan cannot be created without the input of the community and therefore it is the community that ultimately creates the plan.
Why is it different to a Local Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan and a Local Plan are separate and are not to be confused. Epping Forest District Council is responsible for determining the level of growth required for the District, and the Local Plan will set out how much of that growth – both housing and employment – will be located in North Weald Bassett.
The North Weald Bassett Neighbourhood Plan will sit alongside the Epping Forest District Local Plan, complementing it by creating additional planning policies (in finer detail) that legally, must be considered as part of the deliberations when deciding upon planning applications in our area. It cannot contradict the strategic policies contained the Local Plan.
What can the Plan cover?
The plan can cover many things, some of which are detailed above. It can go into a level of detail that wouldn’t be found in the Local Plan. Therefore, without a Neighbourhood Plan (and the planning policies it creates), developers are able to decide such finer points themselves.
Some questions to think about…..
- Have you or your children struggled to get on the property ladder in the area they have lived for some time?
- What do you think about the width of roads on new housing developments?
- Off street parking, do you want it to be allocated in a communal area out of sight of the street scene or do you want to park outside your front door?
- Do you want your children to have a greater choice of schools locally or do you feel that the current schools in the area could cope with the proposed growth?
- Do you want more local amenities rather than having to travel out of the village to find them?
- Do you want your village to retain its own unique village feel?
Whatever your answers may be, these are the types of topic that can be addressed within the Neighbourhood Plan to reflect the views and needs of the community. Visit out ‘Growth’ page for examples of the types of policies that could be created.
It can also cover infrastructure needs to support growth… the possibilities are vast.
Process of creating a Neighbourhood Plan
As a Neighbourhood Plan carries legal weight, it must go through a formal process before it can be brought into force.
The process is set out below:
- Publicise the intention to produce a Neighbourhood Plan – DONE
- Determine the Neighbourhood Area – DONE
- Create a Steering Group – DONE
- Community Engagement & Involvement – DONE
- Build the Evidence Base – DONE
- Identify Themes, Aims, a Vision and Options – DONE
- Write the Plan – CURRENT
- Plan Goes to Consultation
- Plan is Submitted to Local Planning Authority
- Independent Examination of Plan
- The Plan Goes to a Referendum
If the plan passes the referendum then it will be brought into force.
Where are we now in the process?
As detailed above, the North Weald Bassett Neighbourhood Plan is currently at stage 7.
If you want to keep up to date with how the plan is progressing then head on over to our News/Events page.