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Hamble Parish Council

Neighbourhood Plan

Hamble Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan

In November, the Council gave the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group the green light to proceed with an evaluation exercise, so we asked residents and local stakeholders to determine whether or not they would like to see the Parish develop a Neighbourhood Plan; 224 responses were received, 98% answered 'yes' and 4% answered 'no' to the question 'Would you like to see Hamble-le-Rice consider a Neighbourhood Plan?'.

At the Annual Parish Meeting a presentation on Neighbourhood Planning was given and those in attendance were able to ask questions about the process and give feedback.

Following this, the Neighbourhood Pan Working Group reported to Council on 8th July 2019 and it was agreed to leave the decision to proceed with a Neighbourhood Plan to the newly elected council in May next year. It will also give time to see if the new Local Plan is adopted and that it protects and covers most of the elements that could be included in a Hamble Neighbourhood Plan.

Click here for a copy of the Neighbourhood Plan presentation given at the Annual Parish Meeting on 4th April 2019.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood planning is a way for communities like Hamble-le-Rice to decide on the future of the places where they live and work. It enables residents to have more say on land use and local infrastructure such as where new houses, businesses, shops and community facilities should go. The plan can allocate sites for development and may also include more detailed planning policies, for example to define how new development should look. It must however build on the policies in Eastleigh Borough Council’s emerging Local Plan and the Waste and Minerals Plan developed by Hampshire County Council.

Neighbourhood planning was introduced by Government under the Localism Act in November 2011. It has the same legal status as the Local Plan once it has been approved at a referendum and at this point it becomes part of the statutory development plan.

A neighbourhood plan will normally last for five years at which point it should be reviewed.

How would the Neighbourhood Plan process work?
Neighbourhood plans can only be prepared by a ‘qualifying body’ in this case this could be Hamble Parish Council.

As the qualified body the Parish Council could lead on the Neighbourhood Plan via a volunteer-led neighbourhood steering group, which would need to be established.

The Local Planning Authorities are also involved and will make decisions at key stages of the process, such as approving the neighbourhood area within which the Neighbourhood Plan will have effect. It will also organise an independent examination of the plan and the community referendum that is held at the end of the process.

The referendum is an important part of the process allowing those that live in Hamble-le-Rice to decide whether or not the Neighbourhood Plan comes into effect or not.

Can a Neighbourhood Plan stop future development?
A Neighbourhood plan would help the community to influence future land use across the Parish. However, whilst it DOES NOT need to include additional housing, it must be framed in terms of a presumption in favour of development and therefore CAN NOT be protectionist in terms of development. If agreed it would not have an impact on existing planning applications such as the GE site and the Cemex ravel extraction site.

Impact on Eastleigh Local Plan
A ‘made’ neighbourhood plan for Hamble-le-Rice would attain the same legal status as the Local Plan once it has been approved at a referendum. At this point it comes into force as part of the statutory development plan framework. In making the Neighbourhood Plan both Planning Authorities (EBC and HCC) will be consulted to ensure that the Plan is in line with the Local Plan and the Waste and Minerals Plan. It cannot be in conflict with it.

Applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

How long would it take?
The amount of work will be largely dependent on the content and scope of the plan. It will also depend on resources and the commitment of the Neighbourhood Steering Group. However, preparing a neighbourhood plan is likely to take a considerable amount of time and effort, and a timescale of probably 2-3 years.

How much would it cost?
There is no fixed format or template for a neighbourhood plan and the cost of preparing is therefore likely to vary depending on the complexity and size. It will also be determined by the level of ‘brought in costs’, such as expert reports that may be required as evidence. However, research suggests that preparing a neighbourhood plan could cost between £18,000 and £40,000.