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Community Led Planning & Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Plans

Background information

The Localism Act 2011 created a range of measures to provide more power to local communities. This included allowing local communities to guide development within their local area through the production of a neighbourhood plan.

Neighbourhood plans provide the opportunity for local communities to play a greater role in determining the future of their area. A neighbourhood plan can outline policies on the development and use of land in a parish or neighbourhood area and can propose the same or a higher level of growth as proposed in a local authority's development plan. A neighbourhood plan should be in general conformity with strategic planning policies and guidance at local, national and European levels, and should not be used to propose a lower level of housing growth as that proposed within the council's Local Development Plan.

Where a neighbourhood plan has demonstrated general conformity with strategic policies of a local plan, and has been accepted at referendum, its policies will take precedence over existing non-strategic policies in the local plan. A completed neighbourhood plan forms part of the Council's statutory development plan and would be considered alongside other local plan policies to guide a new development in the area.

Neighbourhood planning briefing note to Towns and Parishes

The Council has produced guidance documents for Parish and Town Councils outlining the eight key stages in producing a neighbourhood plan and how the Council's Planning Team will support Neighbourhood Plans from designation until adoption.

For guidance on the support the Council will provide to communities involved in the neighbourhood planning process, go to the Statement of Community Engagement.

Further guidance

The Rural Community Council for Essex (RCCE) has a lot of experience supporting community groups to produce community led plans in Essex. The RCCE has produced a useful neighbourhood planning guide on their website: Essex RCC.

Further background information on neighbourhood planning is available from the following sources:

If you would like to help with the Neighbourhood Plan being prepared in your area, please contact the Parish Council.

Designated Neighbourhood Areas

The following neighbourhood areas have been designated: