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Neighbourhood Planning

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?


A Neighbourhood Plan is a community led framework for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. This tier 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 Medway Council’s own planning policy documents.


A Neighbourhood Plan must be in conformity with the Medway Local Plan, and comply with European and national legislation, and have appropriate regard to national policy. It should not promote less development than that identified in the development plan for the local area, but it can allow greater growth levels, and allocate sites. It can specify policies and guidance on how new development should be designed, oriented and located. Communities can decide on the timeframe covered by the Neighbourhood Plan.


Who can produce a Neighbourhood Plan?


Neighbourhood Plans can be produced by Parish Councils, or in non-parished areas, by neighbourhood forums. The forum must consist of at least 21 people, and 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 and producing a draft plan. Medway Council then needs to administer the formal process to consult on the draft plan, arrange an independent examination, and hold a referendum in the parish or neighbourhood area to determine if there is support for the adoption of the plan.


Preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan in Cliffe and Cliffe Woods


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. Medway Council approved the boundary of the Neighbourhood Area at its Cabinet meeting on 16 June 2015. 


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 the parish council website at: http://www.cliffeandcliffewoods-pc.gov.uk/html/nhp.html



Further information


Department for Communities and Local Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/giving-communities-more-power-in-planning-local-development/supporting-pages/neighbourhood-planning


My Community Rights: http://mycommunity.org.uk/programme/neighbourhood-planning/