Information about the neighbourhood plan concept is given below – and see also Bodmin Moor Neighbourhood Plans*
Want to see what a draft plan looks like? St Cleer has already started the process – see their latest draft plan*.
In light of the suggestion made after the parish meeting of 11th June 2013, there has been discussion about whether and how we want to go ahead with a neighbourhood plan. This has been considered at parish meetings; it was recognised there are merits in the idea, and it was agreed that, if we are to have one we would have it alone, and not as part of a larger area plan. However, the issue is now ‘on hold’, largely because of the legal requirement that there would need to be more than 20 individuals on the steering committee, and not enough volunteers came forward.
Derris explained that, although it would involve some hard work from parishioners, neighbourhood planning has a lot of benefits. Already, St Neot and St Cleer are considering the idea, and it may be possible to work together to develop a broad Southern-Bodmin-Moor umbrella plan, with more detailed sections specific to the individual parishes included.
So what is a neighbourhood plan? In essence, it is a twenty-year plan that defines the broad planning aims of the neighbourhood. It might identify which areas are to be considered for future building, and which are to be protected from future development; it could give guidance on renewable energy, housing, industry, heritage-site protection, landscape protection, and so on. It should be self-inspired, i.e. produced from within the neighbourhood, and not imposed from above. Once completed, it would need to be examined by the Planning Inspector (at the cost of the Cornwall Council), and if it meets the required standards, it would be put to a referendum of all parishioners. If voted for by the majority in the referendum, the neighbourhood plan carries real legal weight. Decision-makers will be obliged, by law, to take what it says into account when they consider proposals for development in the neighbourhood.
>> Find out more – An introduction to neighbourhood planning* – a short step-by-step guide to neighbourhood planning
What support can we get? Not only has Derris declared her willingness to support the parish in this process, but the local planning authority is legally obliged to provide ‘technical advice and support’ to communities preparing neighbourhood development plans – but it’s up to the community to decide what this should be. Funding support may also be available: the government has recently awarded a contract to Locality in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute, Planning Aid England and partners to deliver a new £9.5 million, 2-year programme to support communities to progress their neighbourhood development plans and neighbourhood development orders.
As explained on mycommunityrights.org.uk* website, the Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning programme will support groups developing neighbourhood plans in two ways: direct support* – advice and support, with an average value of equivalent to £9,500, tailored to meet the needs of supported neighbourhoods; and grant payments* of up to £7,000 per neighbourhood area, to contribute to costs incurred by the group preparing a neighbourhood plan or order. Neighbourhoods may apply for either or both kinds of support.
- direct support – advice and support, with an average value of equivalent to £9,500, tailored to meet the needs of supported neighbourhoods
- grant payments – up to £7,000 per neighbourhood area, to contribute to costs incurred by the group preparing a neighbourhood plan or order.
>> Find out more – Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning 2013-15* – a government-produced factsheet (March 2013) about the support available (financial and otherwise) for communities wishing to undertake neighbourhood planning.