The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management presented the report which sought Member endorsement of the undertaking of a detailed analysis of existing neighbourhood plans to inform the preparation of the local plan. It also sought endorsement of the development of a communications plan for liaison with neighbourhood planning communities throughout the local plan production.
The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised that neighbourhood plans carry more weight as a material planning consideration further they are progressed, although the new local plan when adopted will take precedence over any neighbourhood plan made prior to the adoption.
Members’ noted that further material modifications would require further consultation which would be supported by government funding and that that the emerging neighbourhood plans would be tested against conformity with the adopted local plan. Members’ were mindful that advice would be given to parish councils.
The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management summarised the feedback received from the issues and options consultation in section 3 of the report and drew Members’ attention to the practical suggestions detailed in figure 2.
The report also summarised discussion points from a webinar hosted by officers from the Planning Department which was well attended by 21 neighbourhood plan areas that covered both those with made and emerging plans.
The committee considered paragraph 4.4 of the report which detailed the key considerations. The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management sought Members views on these key considerations going forward and also sought Members’ endorsement to the undertaking of a detailed analysis of existing neighbourhood plans.
The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised both reports would be brought back to a future meeting for Member approval.
Points raised by Committee Members during discussion included:
· Support was shown for the comprehensive report.
· As Clerk to two parishes that have neighbourhood plans and a member of a Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group I am heartened by the report as the support and communication by the District Council for those parishes will be critical
· Reference was made to d) conflicts in paragraph 4.4. It is the duty of the district council to resolve conflicts as some parishes are disenchanted with the neighbourhood process.
· Many of the parish councils view neighbourhood plans as part of the planning process which would enable them to have a say in the outcome of development.
· There is a need to understand each village in terms of understanding what housing is in the village, the people that live in the village, the age concept and what type of houses those people need.
· Suggestion that neighbourhood plans should detail what type of employment is in the village. The neighbourhood plan should encourage employment growth.
· Support was shown for Recommendation 3 in order to address the needs and aspirations of our communities.
· It helps to maintain a good dialogue with the Planning Authority as it is a gruelling process to put together a neighbourhood plan that accords with the local plan and national planning framework.
1. That the role, coverage and state of play of neighbourhood planning in the district and the relationship with the local plan (adopted and emerging) be noted.
2. That the discussion points set out in section 4 of the report be considered.
3. That the undertaking of a detailed analysis of existing neighbourhood plans to inform the preparation of the local plan, the findings of which to be reported to a future meeting be endorsed.
4. That the development of a communications plan for liaison with neighbourhood planning communities throughout the local plan production to be brought back to a future meeting for member approval be endorsed.