Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community’s needs and where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area.
What is the role of a parish or town council in neighbourhood planning?
In a designated neighbourhood area which contains all or part of the administrative area of a town or parish council, the town or parish council is responsible for neighbourhood planning.
Where a parish or town council chooses to produce a neighbourhood plan or Order it should work with other members of the community who are interested in, or affected by, the neighbourhood planning proposals to allow them to play an active role in preparing a neighbourhood plan or Order.
The relationship between any group and the formal functions of the town or parish council should be transparent to the wider public. A parish or town council may choose to establish an advisory committee or sub-committee under section 102(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and appoint local people (who need not be parish councillors) to those bodies. Members of such committees or sub-committees would have voting rights under section 13(3), (4)(e) or (4)(h) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. The terms of reference for a steering group or other body should be published and the minutes of meetings made available to the public.
The Climate, Nature, and Environment Committee will commence work on the Plan for Bexhill from May 2023.