Kingsclere Neighbourhood Plan
About the Plan
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood planning was introduced through the Localism Act, and Regulations came into force in April 2012.
Neighbourhood planning is a new way for communities to decide the future shape of the place where they live. The process enables communities to have a greater say in what community facilities they require and where new houses, shops & businesses are located. It can allocate land for future development and establish general planning policies i.e. influencing the detail of what new developments will look like.
However, plans must comply with current legislation and the Borough’s strategic plan. It cannot be used to prevent new development on strategic sites allocated by the Borough.
Who can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan?
Parish and Town Councils are responsible for taking the lead in the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan (NP). Where there is no Parish or Town Council a group of at least 21 people can apply to be designated as a Neighbourhood Forum. Kingsclere Parish Council is the only ‘qualifying body’ who can make an application to commence work on a plan for Kingsclere.
What area can plans cover?
There is no defined boundary set down in legislation. It is up to Parish & Town Councils to decide and they can, if they wish, to join together and have a plan covering a larger area, although one Council must take the lead. In Kingsclere we could have used our existing Settlement Boundary, our Parish Boundary or join up with neighbouring Parish Council(s), however Kingsclere PC decided in March 2013 to use the Kingsclere Parish Boundary as the area covered by our plan.
What is the relationship with the Local Plan for Basingstoke & Deane?
The Local Strategic Plan for Basingstoke & Deane has now been adopted. This document details planning policies for the Borough up until 2029. Once our NP is adopted it will form part of the Local Strategic Plan for the Borough, meaning that the Local Planning Authority (LPA) and planning inspectors must take our NP into consideration when making planning decisions.
What steps are involved in producing a Neighbourhood Plan?
Many of the following steps are laid down in legislation.
• The PC agrees to take on board the project and agree the area to cover in our NP.
• The PC submits an application to the Borough to designate a Neighbourhood Area.
• We set to work - prepare a project plan, advertise throughout the community, set up working groups, gather information & evidence, identify physical assets, arrange a public meeting(s), commission surveys if necessary etc. etc.
• Produce the draft Plan
• Publicise the proposals to those who live and work within the area and consult statutory agencies i.e. English Heritage, Environment Agency etc. Must be a minimum of 6 weeks.
• Submit to the Borough who will check the plan against the Local Plan and regulations.
• If it meets requirements, the Borough arrange for an independent examiner who looks at how the plan fits with national policies, EU legislation and adjoining neighbourhood plans. If it doesn’t, the examiner will recommend changes.
• Once passed the independent examination, the Borough arranges for a referendum of everyone entitled to vote within the area of the plan. A simple majority of those voting is required in order for the plan to be brought into force.
• If approved, it will be adopted by the Borough Council. It will then carry legal weight and must be taken into account when considering planning applications.
How will the Neighbourhood Plan be funded?
Government have allocated funding to local authorities for Neighbourhood Planning. To date our NP group have obtained grant funding of approximately £13k to support our work in Kingsclere. Most has been spent on consultancy support.
The Borough Council are also entitled to funding for their work in supporting Parish & Town Councils working on NPs. The Borough Council will pay for the independent examination and the referendum.
Updated 6th July 2016