Neighbourhood plans enable communities to prepare planning policies to guide future development in a local area. Neighbourhood plans can also include site allocations.
Once adopted neighbourhood plans become part of the development plan and the policies contained within them are then used in the determination of planning applications.
How does Neighbourhood Planning work?
The process of preparing a neighbourhood plan must follow certain prescribed steps. This process includes formal designation of a ‘neighbourhood area’, consultation with the local community, consideration of the Plan by an independent examiner and a public referendum.
Neighbourhood plans cannot block development that is already part of the Local Plan and must:
- Have regard to national policies and advice, such as the National Planning Policy Framework;
- Contribute to the achievement of sustainable development;
- Be in general conformity with the strategic policies in the development plan for Surrey Heath Borough;
- Be compatible with European obligations and human rights requirements.
For more information, please see A summary of the neighbourhood plan process and the role of the local community
Neighbourhood Planning Support
Grant funding and some technical support is available from the government for communities wanting to prepare neighbourhood plans. For information on the support available please visit https://neighbourhoodplanning.org/
Surrey Heath Borough Council can provide a range of support (see table at the bottom of the page) for those preparing neighbourhood plans as well as having a statutory responsibility to organise the neighbourhood plan examination and the public referendum.
Support that is available from Surrey County Council to those preparing neighbourhood plans is set out in the neighbourhood planning guide.
There are a range of organisations that provide detailed advice on the preparation of neighbourhood plans:
- Neighbourhood Plans Roadmap - Step by Step Guide
- Locality produces a range of neighbourhood planning toolkits and advice notes
- Planning Practice Guidance for Neighbourhood Plans
- Historic England Neighbourhood Planning Advice
- Royal Town Planning Institute guidance
- Information on the Examination process - produced by NPIERS (Neighbourhood Planning Independent Examiner Referral Service)
Surrey Heath's role in neighbourhood planning
- Designating the neighbourhood area and neighbourhood forum;
- Publicising the submitted neighbourhood plan;
- Arranging and funding the examination;
- Publicising the examiner’s report and plan proposal decision;
- Arranging and funding the referendum;
- Adopting the Plan.
Steps in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan and Borough Council support
|Stage||Surrey Heath Borough Council Support|
|Designation as a Neighbourhood Area/Neighbourhood Forum||
|Evidence to support the neighbourhood plan||
|Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA)||
|Submission and Examination||
Upon Submission of the Neighbourhood Plan to Surrey Heath, the Council will:
In relation to independent Examination of the Plan, the Council will: