What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood Planning was introduced through the Localism Act 2011 and gives communities the power to get the right type of development appropriate for their community. The planning system helps decide what is built, where and when. In theory, planning was meant to allow communities to have a say in what happens on their doorstep. In practice, this hasn't happened. The government wish to change this by giving back the power to those who live and work in an area - allowing them to make the decisions.

Neighbourhood plans must have regard to the local councils policies and documents but these can be moulded to suit a particular area as the local community directs.

The local planning authority (WMDC) have a duty to support communities making a neighbourhood plan and will check that the plan meets certain minimum conditions.

A referendum will be organised by the local authority ensuring that the local community have the final say on whether a neighbourhood plan comes in to force in their area.