Neighbourhood Development Plans can only be produced by Parish Councils or by Neighbourhood Forums.
Within Surrey Heath, the eastern part of the Borough is covered by Parish Councils (see attached map below). A plan allows the local community to create a vision and planning policies for the use and development of land in a neighbourhood. For example, where new homes and businesses can be built and what they should look like. Neighbourhood Development Plans can be general or more detailed, depending on what is important to local people. They must however, be in conformity with the strategic policies in the Council's adopted Core Strategy and should not be used to promote a lower level of development.
Once a Neighbourhood Development Plan is adopted it will become part of Surrey Heath's statutory development plan and be used to guide decision making on planning application.
The Government realises that the neighbourhood planning system imposes costs, opportunities and benefits on local councils, town and parish councils, communities and other key partners. It is committed to providing £50 million until March 2014 to support local councils in making neighbourhood planning a success.
The Government is also looking at what support can be made directly available to town and parish councils and communities more generally to help support neighbourhood planning activities and hope to make an announcement shortly.
To ensure communities have the right support and advice to meet their aspirations, on 13 April the Government announced four organisations, with renowned expertise in planning, who will share a £3.2m fund to provide assistance to local groups developing neighbourhood plans.
- Princes Foundation
- CPRE / NALC (Campaign to Protect Rural England / National Association of Local Councils)
- RTPI Planning Aid (Royal Town Planning Institute)