Neighbourhood Planning was introduced under the Localism Act to give members of the community a more hands on role in the planning of their neighbourhoods.
Latest News: YES vote for Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan
A Neighbourhood Planning Referendum was held on Thursday 2nd May where those who live within the St James Ward were asked "Do you want Exeter City Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Exeter St James to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"
Referendum to be held on the 2nd May
A neighbourhood planning referendum will be held for the Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan on 2 May 2013.
The question asked in the referendum will be:
The specified documents are:-
The Neighbourhood Plan
The Examiner's report
A summary of representations submitted to the examiner
A statement that the Council is satisfied that the draft plan meets the basic conditions and complies with the provision made by sections 38A and 38B of the 2004 Act
General information on town and country planning including neighbourhood planning
Executive 19 March 2013 agreed the Council's response to the Examination Report.
The Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan Decision Statement is attached below and is also available to view in the Customer Service Centre, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 1JN. Monday - Friday, 8.30am to 5pm.
Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan Examination Report
On the 15 February 2013 the Council received the Examiner's report on the Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan. The report concludes that with a few minor modifications the Plan should proceed to referendum. The Examiner's report is available to view below:
Publicising Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan Proposals
The Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan was publicised from 21 December 2012 to 8 February 2013. The plan proposal, which includes the proposed neighbourhood development plan, a map which identifies the area, a consultation statement and a basic conditions statement, is available to view below:
An independent Examiner has been appointed to assess whether the Plan meets the basic conditions (see Key Stages to Neighbourhood Planning below).
Exeter St James Forum consults on their Draft Neighbourhood Development Plan
Exeter St James Forum undertook consultation on their Draft Neighbourhood Development Plan between 10 October and 23 November 2012.
Designation of Exeter St James Forum as a Neighbourhood Forum
An application for designation as a Neighbourhood Forum was received from Exeter St James Forum on the 29 June 2012. The Council received no objections to the application and the Council has determined to approve Exeter St James as a Neighbourhood Forum. No other organisation or body may be designated for this neighbourhood area until the designation expires or is withdrawn.
The note below explains the consultation process and the decision to agree the application:
The application is available to view below:
Designation of the ward of St James as a Neighbourhood Area
An application for the designation of the ward of St James as a basis for neighbourhood planning was made by Exeter St James Forum on 3 May 2012.
The application letter, together with a map showing the Neighbourhood Area is available to view below:
The Localism Act 2011
The Localism Act received Royal Assent on 15 November 2011 and is now law.
Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 [138kb]
Key Stages to Neighbourhood Planning
There will be five key stages to neighbourhood planning:
1. Defining the neighbourhood
Local people will need to decide which organisation should lead on coordinating the local debate. In some places, existing community groups may want to put themselves forward. In other places, local people might want to form a new group. In both cases, the group must meet some basic standards. It must, for example, have at least 21 members, and it must be open to new members.
Community groups will then need to apply to the local planning authority identifying the area and submitting information about the group. If the local planning authority decides that the community group meets the right standards, the group will be able to call itself a 'Neighbourhood Forum'. A Neighbourhood Forum can then get going and start planning for their neighbourhood.
2. Preparing the Plan
Next, local people will begin collecting their ideas together and drawing up their plans.
With a neighbourhood plan, communities will be able to establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood.
With a neighbourhood development order, the community can grant planning permission for new buildings they want to see go ahead.
Local people can choose to draw up either a plan, or a development order, or both. It is entirely up to them. Both must follow some ground rules:
· They must generally be in line with local and national planning policies
· They must be in line with other laws
· If the local planning authority's says that an area needs to grow, then communities cannot use neighbourhood planning to block the building of new homes and businesses. They can, however, use neighbourhood planning to influence the type, design, location and mix of new development.
3. Independent Check
Once a neighbourhood plan or order has been prepared, an independent examiner will check that it meets the right basic standards.
4. Community Referendum
The local council will organise a referendum on any plan or order that meets the basic standards. This ensures that the community has the final say on whether a neighbourhood plan or order comes into force.
If more than 50 per cent of people voting in the referendum support the plan or order, then the local planning authority must bring it into force.
5. Legal Force
Once a neighbourhood plan is in force, it carries real legal weight. Decision-makers will be obliged, by law, to take what it says into account when they consider proposals for development in the neighbourhood.
A neighbourhood order will grant planning permission for development that complies with the order. Where people have made clear that they want development of a particular type, it will be easier for that development to go ahead.
More details on these stages are provided on the Government's Neighbourhood Planning website.
Neighbourhood Planning Protocol
Exeter City Council has adopted a 'Neighbourhood Planning Protocol' which is available to view below:
Neighbourhood Planning Front Runner Projects
Exeter City Council has been granted 'front runner' status by Government for a pilot neighbourhood planning project in the Exeter St James area. The work undertaken by Exeter St James Forum may provide a useful insight into what is required for other groups considering Neighbourhood Planning.
If you would like to talk through any of this information and explore further what might be the advantages of Neighbourhood Planning for your community please make contact with one of the following officers:
Dawn Rivers, Community Involvement & Inclusion Office
Jill Day, Forward Planning Officer