Neighbourhood Planning allows a community to produce a plan that suits their circumstances and meets their needs.
New planning rules allow a community to determine how Local Authority strategic policies should be interpreted in their area. A Neighbourhood Plan is part of the Local Plan and its policies carry statutory weight.
The only requirement is that these policies must be compliant with the strategic policies contained in the Local Plan, the London Plan and the planning principles outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Many of these principles lack a clear definition which allows for a degree of flexibility in their interpretation.
The policies in a Neighbourhood Plan can be used to define parameters, thereby allowing a community to write policies that restrict or encourage certain types of development across the area.
Whilst the final content of our Neighbourhood Plan will ultimately be decided by MRC members, we need a starting point to stimulate some ideas.
Below are some policy areas that we should consider including in our plan.
A policy for future house building in the village
- To ensure that future developments are rural in nature, not suburban.
We will need to define what we mean by rural and decide what types of future development we consider suitable / unsuitable. We can include a Design Code to ensure that future developments enhance the character of the village.
A policy for brownfield sites
- To ensure that any re-development of our brownfield sites meets the approval of the community.
We could use this policy area to decide how to deliver future growth. We could include generic policies that apply to the whole Neighbourhood Area or site specific policies.
A policy for greenfield sites
- To ensure that any vulnerable greenfield sites are adequately protected.
A future Green Belt Review could identify some sites that no longer meet the statutory Green Belt tests. We could include policies that enhance or protect these sites.
A policy for 5G and high speed Broadband (24+ Mbps)
- To ensure that the community benefits from any funding to update our communications infrastructure.
Other Policy Areas
We could also include other policy areas to cover
We could also include specific proposals for various projects such as
- Installing off-street parking bays
- Building Affordable Housing
- Extending the Local Nature Reserve