Guidance Print Neighbourhood Planning

Consulting on, and publicising, a neighbourhood plan or Order

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What is the role of the wider community in neighbourhood planning?

A qualifying body should be inclusive and open in the preparation of its neighbourhood plan or Order and ensure that the wider community:

  • is kept fully informed of what is being proposed
  • is able to make their views known throughout the process
  • has opportunities to be actively involved in shaping the emerging neighbourhood plan or Order
  • is made aware of how their views have informed the draft neighbourhood plan or Order.

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Should other public bodies, landowners and the development industry be involved in preparing a draft neighbourhood plan or Order?

A qualifying body must consult any of the consultation bodies whose interest it considers may be affected by the draft neighbourhood plan or Order proposal. The consultation bodies are set out in Schedule 1 to the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended). Other public bodies, landowners and the development industry should be involved in preparing a draft neighbourhood plan or Order. By doing this qualifying bodies will be better placed to produce plans that provide for sustainable development which benefits the local community whilst avoiding placing unrealistic pressures on the cost and deliverability of that development.

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At what stage does the pre-submission consultation take place on a draft neighbourhood plan or Order?

Before the formal pre-submission consultation takes place a qualifying body should be satisfied that it has a complete draft neighbourhood plan or Order. It is not appropriate to consult on individual policies for example. Where options have been considered as part of the neighbourhood planning process earlier engagement should be used to narrow and refine options. The document that is consulted on at the pre-submission stage should contain only the preferred approach.

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What are the pre-submission publicity and consultation requirements for neighbourhood planning?

A qualifying body must publicise the draft neighbourhood plan or Order for at least six weeks and consult any of the consultation bodies whose interests it considers may be affected by the draft plan or order proposal (see regulation 14 and regulation 21 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012) (as amended). The consultation bodies are set out in Schedule 1 to the Regulations.

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Is additional publicity or consultation required where European directives might apply?

European directives, incorporated into UK law, may apply to a draft neighbourhood plan or Order. Where they do apply a qualifying body must make sure that it also complies with any specific publicity and consultation requirements set out in the relevant legislation. The local planning authority should provide advice on this.

The legislation that may be of particular relevance to neighbourhood planning is:

  • the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (as amended)
  • the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended)
  • the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 (as amended))

It may be appropriate, and in some cases a requirement, that the statutory environmental bodies English Heritage, the Environment Agency and Natural England be consulted.

 

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