THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING PROCESS.
Neighbourhood planning is a new voice for communities introduced through the Localism Act 2011. For the first time, local people have a major statutory say in helping to shape development in the areas in which they live. It empowers communities to shape the development and growth of their area through the production of a Neighbourhood Development Plan, a Neighbourhood Development Order or a Community Right to Build Order.
Neighbourhood development plans will become part of the local statutory development plan and will form the basis for determining planning applications in that area. A neighbourhood development order enables the community to grant planning permission for the development it wishes to see.
The planning system helps to decide what gets built, where and when. Planning is essential for supporting economic growth, improving people's quality of life, and protecting the natural environment. While the planning system provides opportunities for communities to get involved in development decisions that affect them, in practice they have often found it difficult to have a meaningful say. The introduction of neighbourhood planning puts power back in the hands of local residents, businesses, parish councils and civic leaders.
The project in Salcombe is led by the NDP Steering Group (SG). for more information about the SG and to see details of those currently serving on the SG Click here.
The local planning authority is providing support and will organise the independent examination and the neighbourhood referendum at the end of the process. The referendum ensures that the local community has the final say on the NDP.
Government actions so far
The Localism Act became law in November 2011 and the Government put in place the necessary regulations that enabled communities to start neighbourhood planning from April 2012.
They've committed to providing up to £50 million until March 2015 to support local councils in making neighbourhood planning a success.
Over 200 Front Runner projects, of which Salcombe is one, are being supported. Under this scheme, a grant of up to £30,000 has been made available.
Over £3 million has been given to four organisations to provide independent advice to communities in planning for their neighbourhood (see the introduction to neighbourhood planning guide found in 'Useful Links' for details). For the future, they are considering whether that support best meets communities' needs and what additional help might be made available.
Salcombe's actions so far
The online survey was launched in March 2015 and closed on 10 May 2015 with 570 completed questionnaires. For the results, Click here.
There was an Open Meeting on 27 April 2015 at which interim feedback on the survey was given; for full details, Click here.
A newsletter was published in June 2015, at the end of Phase I, giving information about progress to date, and what's involved in Phase II. Click here. for a copy of that newsletter.
The newsletter includes the first draft of a vision for Salcombe:
A Salcombe where generations can prosper in both work and life, within a friendly and inclusive community; where development of land for employment or housing is achieved in harmony with the town’s character and the area’s distinctive natural environment.