The Localism Act 2011 introduced a range of new rights and powers. One of those rights was neighbourhood planning.
Neighbourhood Plans (NPs) give local communities the opportunity to develop a shared vision for their area. Each Plan should be ‘positively prepared’ and ‘add real value’ at local level.
Unlike a parish plan or village design statement, a successful NP has statutory weight and status. Once adopted ('made'), it becomes part of the development plan for that area and will be used to help decide planning applications (where relevant).
Across both districts, around 50 parishes have embarked on the NP process. To date, 16 NPs have been successfully adopted, with many others at an advanced stage.
To find out more about the progress of each NP in Babergh or Mid Suffolk please use the green tile links at the bottom of this page.
Neighbourhood planning and the COVID-19 emergency
In May 2020, the government updated planning practice guidance on neighbourhood planning in response to COVID-19.
In summary, these updates - which are set out in new Paragraph 107 - covered:
- Referendums - delayed until 6 May 2021 at the earliest
- Decision making - and the weight that can be attached to a post-examination Plan
- Examinations - the general rule remains that these should be conducted by written representation
- Public consultation - general advice on effective community engagement and document availability
- Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - guidance on CIL payment where referendums have been postponed
To read Paragraph 107 in full, please read the government's planning practice guidance on neighbourhood planning
Other sources of information on neighbourhood planning
To help decide if a NP is right for your community, read our guide to community-led planning tools (July 2016). This sets out some simple advantages and disadvantages of the options available.
There is also a wealth of information available online. We highly recommend Locality's neighbourhood planning website. The website was launched in March 2018 and includes:
We also recommend: