The Localism Act 2011 introduced a new type of community planning. Communities now have the right to produce a Neighbourhood Plan, setting out policies on the development and use of land in a parish or neighbourhood area. These plans are optional, but once adopted will form part of the Council's Development Plan.
Introduction - What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan is a document produced by the community, for the community, to shape and guide its future development. It may contain aims, policies and proposals for providing new development or improving exiting facilities. It may also allocate sites for specific uses. However, Neighbourhood Plans must accord with national planning policy and guidance, be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the existing Development Plan for the area and cannot be used to prevent development. Neighbourhood Plans can be used to influence the type, design, location and mix of new development or promote more development than is provided for in the Local Plan.
They are prepared in a similar way to Local Plans, but in addition, are subject to a local referendum.
Other forms of community led plans such as Village Design Statements and Parish Plans, are still available and are a very valid form of local community planning, although they do not form part of the Development Plan for an area in the same way as a Neighbourhood Plan would. Alternatively, early engagement with the Council in the preparation of the new Local Plan may prove to be a more appropriate mechanism.
Ditton Neighbourhood Area Application
Ditton Parish Council applied to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council for the designation of a neighbourhood area under the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations (General) 2012. The area proposed covers the whole of the parished area of Ditton and is the first step for Ditton Parish Council in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan.
The application was approved on 24th June 2015. The decision, approved map and report can be viewed online.
West Malling Neighbourhood Area Application
West Malling Parish Council applied to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council for the designation of a neighbourhood area under the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations (General) 2012. The area proposed covers the whole of the parished area of West Malling and is the first step for West Malling Parish Council in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan.
The application was approved on 6th September 2016. The decision, approved map and report can be viewed online.
Further information on the Neighbourhood Plan can be found on the West Malling Parish Council website.
Further information and guidance on Neighbourhood Plans is available online from the following websites: