The Localism Act introduced new powers for communities in the form of Neighbourhood Planning. Communities have always been consulted in the planning process whether it be during the creation of planning policies or the assessment of planning applications (that are assessed against these policies). However, many groups have felt that this engagement is not meaningful giving them only a minor role in shaping where they live and work.
The Government responded to this by allowing communities to prepare their own planning policies and site allocations in the shape of neighbourhood plans. Through this tool they can actually create policies themselves which have real power as planning applications and appeals will be assessed against them. An approved neighbourhood plan will become a statutory part of the National Planning Policy Framework
How is a neighbourhood plan developed and what support is there?
There are a lot of processes that must be followed, evidence gathered to inform polices and consultation undertaken. The Forum for Neighbourhood Planning is designed to allow those actively engaged in the neighbourhood planning process to share experiences, thoughts and ideas.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) have put together How to shape where you live which gives more details about neighbourhood planning. They identify eight simple steps to take in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan and involving the whole community. Following these steps can lead to an effective Neighbourhood Plan and make sure it becomes formally adopted as part of the development plan for our community.
Locality’s Quick Guide to Neighbourhood Planning provides a good overview.
And the first neighbourhood plan to be approved in Upper Eden in March this year is well worth a look.
Aylesbury Vale District Council have produced a Community Consultation Toolkit
A key website for information and support is http://mycommunityrights.org.uk/neighbourhood-planning/
The presentation made by Peter Rylett (Clerk, St Erth) is available to view online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-MYnJnkX-g&noredirect=1
Useful resources specific to St Ives Area Neighbourhood Plan
Two documents that all those involved in neighbourhood planning should be familiar with are the 2004 Penwith Local Plan and the Cornwall Local Plan currently under development. The Penwith Local Plan can feed into the Neighbourhood Plan, which must conform with the Cornwall Local Plan. (NB. the key difference between the Penwith Local Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan is that the Neighbourhood Plan will be a statutory document.)
More historical documents include
1992 Halsetown Conservation Area Statement
1996 St Ives Traffic Plan
Contents & Foreword Reduce Congestion Traffic Flow Parking Making better use of our assets Road Safety Timescale Traffic orders Consultation Process Acknowldgements Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Appendix 3