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NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING. What this presentation covers. Myth busting – the facts What are the challenges of developing a Neighbourhood Plan? What is the role of the Council’s, the community, businesses/developers? Is a Neighbourhood Plan the right “tool”? What are the alternatives?

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  2. What this presentation covers • Myth busting – the facts • What are the challenges of developing a Neighbourhood Plan? • What is the role of the Council’s, the community, businesses/developers? • Is a Neighbourhood Plan the right “tool”? What are the alternatives? • Leeds – A track record of “neighbourhood” plans • What is the current planning policy for Leeds? How does this impact on the timetable for producing a Neighbourhood Plan?

  3. Neighbourhood Planning … Neighbourhood Plans • Must be about development or use of land • Must be prepared by a Parish/Town Council or a Neighbourhood Forum – with a minimum 21 members who live in the neighbourhood; with a • Written constitution • Only one per Neighbourhood • Area of the Neighbourhood plan (whole or part of a Parish) needs to be specified. Local Planning Authority has to approve the area.

  4. Neighbourhood Planning … Neighbourhood Plans • Can not stop development already allocated or permitted in the Local Plan/UDP; Core Strategy or Site Allocations DPD • Can not propose less development than that identified in the Local Development Plan • Can not propose policies contrary to the Council’s strategic policies or National Policies • Can not propose development which would breach other legal requirements, such as EU Regulations.

  5. Neighbourhood Planning, relationship to CIL… Neighbourhood Plans The Localism Bill will allow LPA’s to levy a charge on development so that contributions to the costs of providing the infrastructure needed to support the development are made. The Community Infrastructure Levy would require a MEANINGFUL PROPORTION to be passed to the neighbourhoods where the development that gave rise to them took place.

  6. Neighbourhood Planning, the myths… Neighbourhood Plans Myth 1 – A neighbourhood Plan can be used to prevent new development in an area… FALSE: the draft NPPF states that Allplans should be based upon and contain the presumption in favour of sustainable development. NP need to support strategic development needs (local plan/UDP; Core Strategy and Site Allcts) and plan positively to support local development, with the power to promote more development than is set out in the Local Plan. Myth 2 - without a Neighbourhood Plan development is uncontrolled…. FALSE: development will be guided by local plans/ UDPs (saved policies); Core Strategy and Site Allocations DPD… BUT – Neighbourhood Plans can influenceSite Allocations in the area and help set out how CIL should be spent in the community.

  7. Neighbourhood Planning, Challenges… Neighbourhood Plans The process of preparing Neighbourhood Plans is proposed to be ‘light touch’, however: • Independent Examination will have increased evidence base requirements • As a statutory plan there are increased regulatory and legal requirements • There will be the requirement of referenda • No certainty on direct funding, though the Government has allocated £3.2m nationally to fund expert groups to give free advice.

  8. Neighbourhood Planning,Resources… Neighbourhood Plans • COST – must be met by Parish/Town Council or Neighbourhood Forum. No requirement for LPA to offer financial assistance. • Costs may include planning agents/independent experts; materials and publicity etc • Estimates between £17 -200k depending on scale and detail. • RESOURCES – intensive and demanding for volunteer time. • TIME - Indication from CLG that each plan will take a year to complete, however based on experience in Leeds on average a VDS/NDS takes 2/3 years. • Cost v. Time - consultancy costs; availability of fundraising before commencement and volunteer time will all affect production time.

  9. Neighbourhood Planning, What are the roles? Neighbourhood Plans • The role of Parish/Town Councils; Neighbourhood Forum; Business • Identify the need to prepare plan/ apply to be a N’hood Forum • Identify key issues & collate evidence • Consult and engage • Prepare documents/plans • Site details; NDO’s?; infrastructure priorities • Submit plan for Independent examination – 3 key tests: • regard to National Policy /NB NPPF presumption in favour of sustainable development • ‘general conformity’ with Local Plan • Compatible with EU obligations and human rights requirements • Local Authority Role • Agree Neighbourhood Boundary • Designation of Neighbourhood Forums • Duty to support – ensure compliance with EU directives and guidance on Local Plan • Fund Examination • Fund and undertake Referenda's • Duty to adopt - plans get statutory status and becomes part of the “development plan”

  10. Neighbourhood Planning … Business involvement? Neighbourhood Plans • Businesses/developers can bring both finance and expertise to the table…. and can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan • Preparation by the business sector… how to avoid self interest? Private developers will need to make a profit so will seek out schemes where they see the potential to do. • Perceived that developers/landowners/businesses may have (undue) influence over communities… Imposed developments are unpopular but by listening to communities, developers have an opportunity for collaboration. Where communities are engaged early on this often leads to better outcomes. • Business/developers may see the process as an opportunity where their direct gains will be as much as saving time as increasing profits. • Importance of working in partnership with LPA’s and communities from the outset.

  11. National Policy Neighbourhood Plans Local Plans (LDF) Parish/T. Council Plans Neighbourhood Plans are only part of a wider tool kit available… Community Right to Build VDS/NDS/ CAA N’hood Dev’t Orders Incentives – New Homes Bonus/ CIL Community Right to Buy

  12. Parish/T. Council Plans VDS/NDS/ CAA Leeds track record & approach… • Neighbourhood Planning complements but does not replace existing community-led planning prepared through: • Parish Plans • Village/Neighbourhood Design Statements • Conservation Area Appraisals • Community Plans (e.g. New Wortley) • Partnership – South Leeds Investment Strategy • Existing commitment in Leeds on community planning matters: • Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) • Community Planners and Locality Officers • End-to-end planning process - preparation of planning briefs/ master plans; pre-application and consultation leading to determination of a planning application.

  13. Parish/T. Council Plans VDS/NDS/ CAA Leeds track record & approach, VDS/NDS’s… • 15 adopted, 10 in production • Who commissions – the aspirations and ideas are led by community groups and Parish/Town Councils. • Use of consultants – local expertise available • Planning liaison officers and Design Officer support • Timescales – allow 24-36 months • Approval process - The consultation and adoption procedure is based on Government regulations and the Leeds City Council Statement of Community Involvement • Status – Once approved by LCC they are adopted as Supplementary Planning Documents.

  14. Parish/T. Council Plans VDS/NDS/ CAA Key aims of VDS/NDS in Leeds are not dissimilar… • Enables communities to analyse and define the value of their local environment • Acts as a ‘tool’ for assessing local character • Assists the City Council in securing development to respond and investment in accordance with community aspirations • Guides smaller changes ("permitted development") • Scopes local environmental improvements and supports community initiatives • Becomes adopted and used by the Council as a material consideration in planning matters. Do the aims and objectives of the community fit within existing plans? Do these need updating?

  15. VDS/NDS/ CAA EXAMPLE, Chapel Allerton Community Plan and Design Statement, Aug 2011 • Sets out a shared vision based on extensive community engagement - Work started in 2008 - 3000 questionnaires to every home. • At an early stage - acknowledged need to engage positively with local service providers – health, education, police and highways, as these bodies play an essential part of community life. • Guides and identifies ways to improve the physical environment; community priorities and stimulate the local economy • Supports the Conservation Area Appraisal and LCC’s detailed design guidance - deliver design excellence and retain and improve the best of the current built and natural environment. • Supported by LCC City Development Department and the INE Area Committee Wellbeing Fund.

  16. VDS/NDS/ CAA EXAMPLE, Chapel Allerton NDS – approach to site development and planning gain… E.g. Yorkshire Bank Development. The community consider that any development on the site should take the opportunity to: • improve areas of public space and landscaping • not include any bars/linked issues of anti- social behaviour. • Must have regard to key views from Harrogate Road • supports the opportunity for enhancement of the conservation area and centre in relation to the Stainbeck Corner and creation of public space which could be delivered by way of planning gain (CIL).

  17. Diagram 1: Relationship between Leeds's key planning policy documents National Policy Leeds Unitary Development Plan (Saved Policies) Leeds Local Development Framework Core Strategy Development Plan Documents - including Site Allocations Neighbourhood Planning Proposals Map Supplementary Planning Documents Parish/Town Council Plans ; VDS/NDS; CAA Statement of Community Involvement Community Infrastructure Levy

  18. National Policy Conclusions… Neighbourhood Plans Local Plans (LDF) • Leeds has a strong track record of working with communities on local planning documents. • Risks – resources required to respond to the level of interest, not just from Planning but across the Local Authority. • Uncertainty – legislation is still being amended and will be supplemented by regulations and guidance. • The Local Planning Authority needs to provide guidance and allow informed debate to manage communities expectations about what Neighbourhood Plans can and cannot do and be clear on the level of support the Local Planning Authority will be able to provide.

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