The Localism Act 2011 introduced a new local tier to the planning system called neighbourhood planning. This allows local communities to produce a Neighbourhood Development Plan or Neighbourhood Development Order. The Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012 set out the detailed legislative framework for undertaking neighbourhood plans.
Neighbourhood Planning enables Town and Parish Councils to prepare, with the community they represent, planning documents for their area. The purpose of this new tier of plan making is to empower local people to enable them to shape the areas in which they live. This can be in a number of ways, including by deciding where new development takes place and what it will look like.
Local authorities have a legal duty to support and advise those communities undertaking neighbourhood planning. Lewes District has two planning authorities, Lewes District Council and South Downs National Park Authority.
For neighbourhood plans being prepared in parishes wholly outside of the National Park, Lewes District Council are the relevant planning authority. For neighbourhood plans being prepared in parishes wholly within the National Park, South Downs National Park Authority are the relevant planning authority. For neighbourhood plans being prepared in parishes within both planning authorities, support will be given by the planning authority where the main centre of the population is. A document has been produced shows which authority will be responsible for supporting neighbourhood plans by parish.
As part of the Neighbourhood Planning Process, Parish Councils are required to apply to designate the area that they wish to plan for.
Wivelsfield Parish Council has applied to designate the entire parish of Wivelsfield as a neighbourhood area for the purpose of producing a neighbourhood plan. The application can be seen below.
Representations on whether the parish is an appropriate neighbourhood area may be made to Lewes District Council between Tuesday, 4 June and Tuesday, 16 July. Representations can be made to email@example.com or in writing to Neighbourhood Planning, Lewes District Council, Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes, BN7 1AB.
Newhaven Town Council has applied to designate the entire parish of Newhaven as a neighbourhood area for the purpose of producing a neighbourhood plan.
The consultation period on the suitability of the Parish to become a neighbourhood area has ended. The decision notice will be published here once a decision has been taken by both the National Park Authority and the Council on whether or not to designate the area.
The following areas have been designated as neighbourhood areas:
A map showing the Parishes where Neighbourhood Areas have been designated can be found below.
As Neighbourhood Planning is a relatively new activity, we understand that many communities have a number of queries about it. We have produced responses to frequently asked questions, seen below.
A guidance document is available for those wanting to learn more about how to prepare a Neighbourhood Development Plan.
A main concern that Town and Parish Councils have in regard to producing a neighbourhood plan, relates to the resourcing (both in terms of money and time) of the project.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) who are responsible for introducing neighbourhood planning, is funding a ‘Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning’ programme which is being lead by Locality, a nationwide network of community enterprises, in association with key partners such as the Royal Town Planning Institute.
The support will be provided in two ways:
1. direct support – advice and support, tailored to meet the needs of the Town/Parish Council producing the plan.
2. grant payments – up to £7,000 per neighbourhood area, to contribute to costs incurred by the Town/Parish Council preparing a neighbourhood plan or order.
More information on these forms of support is available on Locality's at: http://mycommunityrights.org.uk/neighbourhood-planning/
DCLG regularly publish an information leaflet which gives information on what is happening at a national level regarding neighbourhood planning. The leaflet also provides details on events that DCLG organises in order to help communities produce their own neighbourhood plans. 'Notes on Neighbourhood Planning' can be found here.
Each Parish Council that is currently preparing their Neighbourhood Development Plans have websites. You may be able to find more information on the progress of their plans by following the links below. We are not responsible for the content on their websites.
On Wednesday, 5 December 2012 we, alongside the South Downs National Park Authority, ran a workship for the district's Town and Parish Councils on Neighbourhood Planning. It featured a number of presentations, shown below:
If you are interested in neighbourhood planning, or are representing a Town or Parish Council that is considering producing a Neighbourhood Plan or Development Order in an area where Lewes District Council is the relevant planning authority, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us on 01273 4784417.
If you are a Town or Parish Council where the South Downs National Park Authority is the relevant planning authority, then please contact Andrew Triggs at Andrew.Triggs@southdowns.gov.uk or by calling 01730 811759.
Last update: 18/06/13