Neighbourhood Plan


The purpose of a Neighbourhood Plan is for local communities to influence the future of the places where they live and work.   It is basically a way of choosing the scale of development and where new houses etc., are built, also having a say on what new buildings will look like. If adopted, the neighbourhood plan will become part of the statutory development plan for the area and any planning decisions will have to take the plan into account.

It can –

- Be as wide or as narrow as we wish

- Shape and direct future development

- Help determine what type of development should take place

- Identify the most suitable sites for development

- Identify key areas for protection (i.e. historic buildings, open space)

- Set out the improvements required alongside any development

- Add more detail to existing Local Plan policies to give them more local relevance


It cannot - 

- Prevent any development from ever taking place in an area

- Propose less growth than the Local Plan

- Block development

- Be prepared with no input or support from the community

- Deal with county matters such as waste or major infrastructure

- Make policies beyond the plan area

The Parish Council is the lead authority on the plan and is responsible for submitting it to the local planning authority, but it must be demonstrated that the plan represents the views of all sections, ages and groups of the wider community, including businesses, and not the Parish Council.  This means asking the community what they want and where.


Points For:

- It will be a statutory document that must be consulted by the planning department

- It is a chance for local people to decide what is built and where.... so:

- it gives the opportunity for everyone to have their say, including those who may have been critical of council decisions in the past

- Some of Bredfield’s Parish Plan is still relevant

Points Against:

- It will require dedication and hard work

- it will need a team of volunteers that is willing to do the hard work

- It repeats much of what was done 6 years ago with the Parish Plan (‘plan fatigue’)

- There will be some cost involved but it may be difficult to clarify this; although a grant of up to £7k is available to assist (guideline: Rendlesham plan costing is £20,000, but this includes paying Consultants and Architects to do fancy drawings and plans )


The outline process is:

1. Decide a plan is needed

2. Assemble a Steering Group from as wide a background as possible

3. Inform SCDC of our intention and confirm that proposed area is acceptable

4. Publicise the intention to produce a plan

5. Define the area - identify local groups/businesses/people affected

6. Contact planning department & commence a dialogue with them on the scope of the plan

7.  Community engagement – lots of publicity / questionnaires / meetings with full range of interested parties and identify what their concerns and issues are

8. Build evidence base from existing data plus new evidence from analysis of responses to community engagement

9. Identify the issues produced by the analysis

10. Develop aims and options to deal with the issues

11.  Write a draft plan

12. Consult with community on proposed plan (more publicity / meetings)

13. Parish Council approves draft

14. Submit draft to planning authority who publicise it

15. Draft submitted to independent examiner

16. If approved, hold a referendum

17. If more than 50% approve plan, it become a statutory document





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December 2017