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If you live, work or visit this area, then your views are important to us! To find out why the Neighbourhood Plan is important to you, please click on the video, sit back and watch.

The Blackwater & Hawley boundaries

Other Neighbourhood Plans that may also be relevant to you

Why Neighbourhood Plans and Your Involvement are important

Neighbourhood Plans are an opportunity for communities to really look for themselves at what they need locally; what would help the place they live not only survive but also thrive? What’s the current local demographic and does the housing meet their needs? Are there services and facilities which need to be sustained or even reintroduced? What environmental considerations should be taken into account before development could be progressed? These are all questions which a Neighbourhood Plan could answer, putting local knowledge at the heart of local policies and priorities which a planning authority should consider when looking at future applications for the community.

The Neighbourhood Plan development is a Community led initiative and the development process is your opportunity for you to have a say about the future of our area

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood planning is a right for communities introduced through the Localism Act 2011. Communities can shape development in their areas through the production of Neighbourhood Development Plans (often referred to simply as Neighbourhood Plans), Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders.

Neighbourhood Plans become part of the Local Plan and the policies contained within them are then used in the determination of planning applications. Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders allow communities to grant planning permission either in full or in outline for the types of development they want to see in their areas.

Policies produced cannot block development that is already part of the Local Plan. What they can do is shape where that development will go and what it will look like.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has made funding available to provide support and grants for communities looking to set up Neighbourhood Plans.

How do Neighbourhood Plans work?

The local parish or town council will lead on neighbourhood planning in their areas. Where one does not exist then a community group known as a neighbourhood forum needs to be established to lead. The Localism Act recognises that not all communities are residential in nature and in areas that are predominantly commercial then a business-led neighbourhood forum can be established.

The Local Planning Authority is involved and will make decisions at key stages of the process, such as approving the neighbourhood area within which the Neighbourhood Plan will have effect. It will also organise the independent examination of the plan and the community referendum that is held at the end of the process.

The referendum is an important part of the process allowing those that live in the neighbourhood area to decide whether or not the Neighbourhood Development Plan, Neighbourhood Development Order or Community Right to Build Order comes into effect or not. This is direct democracy and outlines the importance of working with the wider community and securing their support at an early stage in the process.

Further information on the Neighbourhood Plan process can be found by clicking here