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.
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:
- Planning Portal
- Department of Communities and Local Government
- RTPI Planning Aid
- The Princes Foundation
- Campaign to Protect Rural England
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:
- Althorne Parish Council - designated 3 December 2014
- Burnham-on-Crouch Town Council - designated 24 April 2013
- Great Totham Parish Council - designated 07 November 2016
- Heybridge Parish Council - designated 14 January 2016
- Langford and Ulting Parish Council - designated 24 April 2013
- Latchingdon Parish Council - designated 25 April 2014
- Mayland Parish Council - designated 30 June 2014
- Tollesbury Parish Council - designated 27 February 2014
- Wickham Bishops Parish Council - designated 07 November 2016, made 30 June 2021