10 Frequently Asked Questions about Neighbourhood Plans
1. What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan is a new way of helping local communities influence planning
decisions in the area where they live and work. It can be used to develop a vision for the future of the neighbourhood, to select locations for new houses, offices, shops and facilities, to protect green spaces and to influence design.
If you want to find out more, Google neighbourhood plan – here are a couple you could try: An Introduction to Neighbourhood Planning, which you can download from the Communities and Local Government (CLG) website www.communities.gov.uk. Also planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk and www.locality.org.uk
2. Essentially, what is the process to create a Neighbourhood Plan?
Community representatives (normally, but not always, the Parish or Town Council) tell the local planning authority (LPA) they want to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. The LPA agree the area and process based on available national guidelines. The
Neighbourhood Plan team prepare a document – encompassing physical plans and
associated policies, through working with local residents and other stakeholders.
Typical consultation processes will include questionnaires and workshop meetings.
The completed Neighbourhood Plan is reviewed by an independent planning
inspector, who can agree with it – or recommend changes. When the inspector, LPA
and Neighbourhood Plan committee are happy with the plan, it is proposed that
plans will be endorsed by a local referendum. If the majority of local residents
support the plan, it will be adopted by the LPA. Like all local plans, a Neighbourhood
Plan is likely to cover a set period of time – probably 15–25 years.
3. Who decided to do a Neighbourhood Plan?
Liskeard Town Council together with the wider community.
4. What area will the plan cover?
At this stage the area covered by Liskeard Town Council. However there will be discussions with other parishes where our boundaries meet as each can affect the other.
5. Who can be involved in the Neighbourhood Plan team?
Anyone interested in the Neighbourhood Plan can get involved at many different levels. (e.g. join a working party that focuses on a particular topic; volunteer practical help such as delivering leaflets; or if you have plenty of time to spare… volunteer to serve on the Neighbourhood Plan Team to help manage the whole process.
6. What sort of things will the plan include?
It is important to stress that the plan must conform generally with the strategic goals
of the LPA (Google Cornwall Local Plan), and central government (Google National Planning Policy Framework). Therefore we have to accept the general targets for development in the local area. However, the Neighbourhood Plan can influence where development is located, building density, design style, access provision (e.g. roads and paths), open space provision, protection of historic sites / buildings /facilities / natural habitats, etc. Neighbourhood Planners should be able to establish policies and initiatives to support business, education, community facilities, recreation, biodiversity and other important matters in the area.
7. How long will it take?
Indications from other towns and parishes who have completed a Neighbourhood Plan is that it will take around two years. In the meantime, the Planning Process proceeds as now, with Cornwall Council making the decisions.
8. Will this plan have any influence?
The whole point of the Neighbourhood Plan process is that at the end of it, what the
community has agreed becomes the adopted (‘official’) plan for the area. Developers
then have to follow the plan. This is in contrast to previous community led initiatives
– such as ‘Town Plans’, where the community ideas were not adopted by the
9. Who pays for all this?
Central government have stated they will make funds available to support
communities. They have recently pledged some money to LPA’s to help them
support and administer Neighbourhood Plans. Money has also been made available
to some organisations to help provide services – e.g. the Princes Foundation and the
Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE). However, we expect additional
costs and there will be a lot of volunteer time required …
10. How can I help / get involved?
The Neighbourhood Plan process offers an excellent chance for all residents to have
a say in the future of the community. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience of
planning matters, we would ask that you help in the following ways:
i. Take the time to fully answer and return any questionnaires we may send
from time to time.
ii. Please try to attend community meetings/workshops that we may arrange and contribute fully to discussions and ideas exercises.
iii. Please check the Liskeard Neighbourhood Plan website: www.planliskeard.co.uk for info and updates, plus posters, press releases the Town Crier and local radio .
iv. Talk to your neighbours about ideas and pass your views to your town councillors or nominated committee members..
v. If you want to get more involved, leave your details on the website or with the Town Council on 01579 345407
vi. Keep an open mind! Remember there are around 9,100 people in Liskeard. We need to make decisions that give the best outcomes for the most people – and that includes future generations.
Thanks to Looe NP Team for permission to adapt their FAQ list.Share this...