What is a Neighbourhood Development Plan?
The Neighbourhood Plan (Also known as a Neighbourhood Development Plan or NDP) is a piece of community-led work which helps shape development in the local area for future housing, conservation and regeneration. It can be used to identify the best sites for development, as well as a unified vision for improving the area as a whole.
Things such as environmental & economic issues can be highlighted and focused on, as well as heritage and housing, all of which are decided on by those creating the plan. Once the plan is “made” (successful at referendum) it then becomes part of the statutory plan for the area, giving it more weight than other local documents like Parish Plans. As it is a piece of the statutory plan, it must meet national legislation, contribute towards sustainable development and conform with local policy. It should not promote less development that what is identified for the local area, rather be used as a tool to enhance the area, and include policies on design and location. The Neighbourhood plan can be made to last for as long as the community decides, such as five, ten, fifteen or even twenty years.
Community engagement is key, and the evidence base that is to be created is based on the views, wants, needs and aspirations of locals, and the local knowledge is key to helping draw the plan together. A steering group is one of the first steps to be made, and this group will then be able to start work on the various areas of the document, with an aim to have it completed in 18 months time.