A neighbourhood plan is a community led framework for guiding future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. This step of planning policy was introduced in the Localism Act in 2011. The neighbourhood plan forms part of the statutory development plan for the area, alongside our own planning policy documents.
A neighbourhood plan:
- can specify policies and guidance on how new developments are designed, orientated and located
- must be in conformity with the Local Plan
- must comply with European and national legislation
- must have appropriate regard to national policy
- should not promote less development than that identified in the development plan for the local area
- can allow more growth levels and allocate sites
- timeframe can be decided by the local community
Neighbourhood plans can be produced by Parish Councils or, in non-parish areas in neighbourhood forums of at least 21 people. These plans should reflect the diversity of the local area.
Medway Council has responsibility for approving the designation of the neighbourhood forum.
The Parish Council or Neighbourhood Forum is responsible for the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan, including:
- information collation
- initial consultation
- producing a draft plan
Medway Council then needs to:
- administer the formal process to consult on the draft plan
- arrange an independent examination,
- hold a referendum in the parish or neighbourhood area to determine if there is support for the adoption of the plan.
Cliffe and Cliffe Woods neighbourhood plan
Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Parish Council applied to Medway Council to start the process of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan. The first stage was to formally approve the designation of the parish as a Neighbourhood Area which was approved at our Cabinet meeting on 16 June 2015. Since the designation of the area Medway Council has been working with the Parish Council to progress the plan.
Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Parish Council has set up a steering group to consult with local people and businesses and start work on the preparation of a draft Neighbourhood Plan. More information is available on Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Parish website.