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Neighbourhood Planning

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.

Information is listed under the following headings:

St James Neighbourhood Plan
Localism Act
Key Stages to Neighbourhood Planning
Neighbourhood Planning Protocol
Neighbourhood Planning Frontrunner
Funding and Resources Opportunities
Officer Contacts

St James Neighbourhood Plan

Latest News: Council adopts Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan

On 16 July 2013 the Council adopted the Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan as part of the statutory development plan.  The decision statement and the Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan are available to view below:
pdf icon Decision Statement [23kb]     pdf icon The Neighbourhood Plan Document [3Mb]

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?"  People living in St James voted as follows:
Yes: 951
No:    64
Other: 23
Turn Out Rate: 20.8%
The full result can be seen on our Results 2013 page.

Referendum to be held on the 2nd May

Information Statement

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:
"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?"
The referendum area and the area covered by the neighbourhood plan is the electoral ward of Exeter St James (a map is attached).pdf icon Neighbourhood Plan Map [6Mb]

A person is entitled to vote in the Referendum if on 2 May 2013 he or she is entitled to vote in an election of any Councillor of the St David's and St James Devon County Council Division, of which the St James ward of Exeter City Council forms a part (polling districts NA and NB of the Exeter City Council electoral register).

The referendum expenses limit that will apply in relation to the Referendum is £2,656.64. The number of persons entitled to vote in the Referendum by reference to which that limit has been calculated is 4,994.

The Referendum will be conducted in accordance with procedures which are similar to those used for a local government election. The specified documents listed below are available to view in the Customer Service Centre, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 1JN. Monday - Friday, 8.30am to 5pm.

The specified documents are:-

The Neighbourhood Plan
pdf icon The Neighbourhood Plan Document [3Mb]
The Examiner's report
pdf icon Examiner's Report February 2013 [1Mb]
A summary of representations submitted to the examiner
doc icon Summary of Representations submitted to Examiner [28kb]
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
doc icon Basic Conditions Statement [24kb]
General information on town and country planning including neighbourhood planning
doc icon General Information [37kb]

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.doc icon Decision Statement 20 March [53kb]

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:
pdf icon Examiner's Report February 2013 [1Mb]

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:pdf icon St James Forum NP submission letter [123kb]
pdf icon Basic Conditions Statement Final [2Mb]
pdf icon Consultation Statement Part 1 [4Mb]
pdf icon Consultation Statement Part 2 [5Mb]
pdf icon Consultation Statement Part 3 [10Mb]
pdf icon Consultation Statement Part 4 [4Mb]
pdf icon Sustainability Appraisal [1Mb]
pdf icon The Neighbourhood Plan FINAL [4Mb]
pdf icon Evidence Base [8Mb]
pdf icon Planning Policy Appraisal Final [1Mb]
pdf icon St James Neighbourhood Area [17Mb]

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:
pdf icon Neighbourhood forum designation [9kb]
The application is available to view below:
pdf icon St James Forum application [225kb]
pdf icon Annex1_The Forum Constitution [236kb]
pdf icon Annex2_St_James_Neighbourhood_Area [2Mb]
pdf icon Annex 3_St James flyer for 25 May 2011 [56kb]
pdf icon St James Forum News Issue 1 [133kb]
pdf icon St James Forum community meeting task groups Sept 2011 [201kb]
pdf icon St James Forum NEWS 8 [109kb]

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 Council received no objections to the application and the council has determined to approve St James Ward as a Neighbourhood Area. The note below explains the consultation process and the decision to agree the application.
pdf icon St James Area Designation [9kb]

The application letter, together with a map showing the Neighbourhood Area is available to view below:
pdf icon St James Forum Area Application [122kb]
pdf icon St James Neighbourhood Area proposed boundary line [6Mb]

The Localism Act 2011

The Localism Act received Royal Assent on 15 November 2011 and is now law.  The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 were laid before Parliament on 6 March 2012 and are available to view in pdf format below or online at the Government's Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 legislation pages.
pdf icon Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 [138kb]
These Regulations came into force on the 6 April 2012 and from this date the Council has been in a position to received applications for designation as a Neighbourhood Forum.

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:
pdf icon Neighbourhood Planning Protocol [11kb]
The Protocol aims to provide clarity for local communities, to establish a co-ordinated approach and to help manage resource implications.

A process checklist to help ensure that the Regulations are met is also available to view below:
pdf icon Process Checklist [52kb]

Neighbourhood Planning Front Runner

Exeter City Council was 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.
More information is available on the Exeter St James Forum website.

Funding and Resource Opportunities

The Government has announced the 'supporting communities in Neighbourhood Planning Programme' to support groups develop neighbourhood plans.  The 'Programme' can help support neighbourhood plans in two ways:

  • direct support - advice and support, with an average value of equivalent to £9,500 tailored to meet the needs of supported neighbourhoods
  • grant payments - up to £7,000 per neighbourhood area, to contribute to costs incurred by the group preparing a neighbourhood plan or order

You can apply for either direct support, or a grant, or BOTH.  To find out more about these opportunities go to the My Community Rights website

My Community Rights

Communities with an adopted Neighbourhood Plan in place will be consulted on how 25% of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) raised from development within their area will be spent.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

Officer contacts

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 Officer
e-mail: dawn.rivers@exeter.gov.uk
Phone: 01392 265531
 Jill Day, Forward Planning Officer
e-mail: jill.day@exeter.gov.uk
Phone: 01392 265615

   
 

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