Sunday, 1 February 2015

"Speeding up the time it takes to designate a neighbourhood plan area"

More and more towns are implementing neighbourhood plans:
Futures Forum: The Neighbourhood Planning Network in Bristol ... planning from the bottom up
Futures Forum: Neighbourhood Plans for towns in East Devon: Axminster and Ottery St Mary

Progress has just been announced on Lympstone's agenda for a neighbourhood plan:

Lympstone neighbourhood plan vote date set

09:00 31 January 2015

Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Brandon Lewis MP, met with Lympstone Parish Council and Neighbourhood Plan group at the village hall. Ref exe 6020-04-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Residents of Lympstone now know when they can vote on the village’s neighbourhood plan after the date for the vote was set. A planning referendum has been set for Thursday, March 26, at Lympstone Methodist Church by East Devon District Council (EDDC).

Lympstone is one of only a handful of parishes to have got this far in creating their own Neighbourhood Plan, under new national planning guidelines.

This decision comes on the back of Minister of State for Housing and Planning Brandon Lewis MP visiting the village on Thursday, January 22. The minister spent 30 minutes in the village, looking at the draft neighbourhood plan and meeting residents as part of a mini-tour of East Devon.

Following many months of hard work in the parish, working with members of East Devon’s planning policy team, the next step is to hold a referendum to see whether residents like the proposals.

Polling stations will open at 7am and will close at 10pm. They will be in the church, as the usual polling station in the village hall is unavailable. The first official notice of the referendum will be Publication of an Information Statement and Specified Documents on Monday, February 16.

Cllr Jenny Clark, who is a member of the neighbourhood planning group, said: “It’s the culmination of three years’ hard work and 1,800 hours of voluntary work by the working party which is a mixture of villagers and parish councillors. The referendum will give the people of Lympstone an opportunity to decide how decisions are made which will affect the future of the village.”

Lympstone neighbourhood plan vote date set - News - Exmouth Journal

Meanwhile, Exmouth Town Council is going full steam ahead with their Neighbourhood Planning process - considered in earnest almost two years ago:

Exmouth Town Council Response to EDDC CIL Consultation Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule

19th March 2013

Section 13 of the consultation document and section 12.1 of the Background Report: 

It is noted a ‘meaningful proportion’ of CIL income is to be passed on to parish councils – between 15% and 25% to be used on infrastructure identified as important by the local community. 

This is a potential game-changer in the question of a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) for a town the size of Exmouth, where the potential gain in terms of CIL makes a NP worth doing on financial grounds when there was no compelling argument on planning grounds. 

This ethical question may well only apply to Exmouth of all towns in East Devon and the Town Council, mindful of the cost of a NP, would welcome high-level discussions on this matter with EDDC to achieve the best outcomes for the people of Exmouth as far as CIL expenditure is concerned. 

Given that the responsibility for major infrastructure does not lie with town or parish councils, an undertaking that all CIL funding will be spent proportionately to where development has taken place would be welcome.



13th OCTOBER 2014

COLP Report Members of COLP had met the previous week and discussion had taken place on the Devon Libraries proposals. 

Roy Pryke had attended a Neighbourhood Plan meeting which had identified that Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments would pay an extra 10% to Councils that had an adopted Neighbourhood Plan. 

EDDC Planning Department had recently promoted the adoption of a Neighbourhood Plan to sit as an underlying tier of legislation under the East Devon Local Plan. 

East Devon had 26 Neighbourhood Plans in progress and EDDC had recently appointed an Inspector to look at Lympstone Parish Council’s plan. 

The Town Clerk explained that a plan would take approximately 18 months to put together and would necessitate public consultations and a referendum (cost met by EDDC) and would have to be supported by 51% of the constituency. Some funding could be available to support the process and public consultations could be undertaken by community organisations. 

Recommendation be put forward before the Full Council that the provision of a Neighbourhood Plan for Exmouth be reconsidered and that the Town Clerk gave an overview on what would be needed to formulate a Neighbourhood Plan.


The background is, of course, the lack of a District Local Plan:


29th January 2015

This is not a great deal of help in East Devon at present as a Local Plan trumps a Neighbourhood Plan and we have no idea what will be in a final Local Plan and how anomalies will be dealt with:

Government introduces legislation aimed at speeding up the time it takes to designate a neighbourhood plan area

The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Amendments Regulations 2015 amends the existing regulations in particular by ‘prescribing’ the date by which a local planning authority must determine applications for designation of a neighbourhood plan area.

It has been introduced in part in response to the considerable variation in the time local planning authorities take to designate neighbourhood plan areas. While some authorities have taken 45 days to reach a decision, some communities (including parish councils) have had to wait over six months for a decision, with some waiting over a year.

It also adds to the list of documents that a qualifying body must submit to a local planning authority with a proposal for a neighbourhood plan.

A copy of the regulations can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/20/pdfs/uksi_20150020_en.pdf

originally blogged at: 
Society Of Local Council Clerks

Councils must speed up adoption of Neighbourhood Plans | East Devon Watch

Meanwhile, Civic Voice has been pushing the importance of neighbourhood plans:
Civic Voice | News | Neighbourhood Planning Week 8-12th December 2014

As is Locality:
Neighbourhood planning « Locality

And the Royal Town and Planning Institute:
Neighbourhood planning

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