A Neighbourhood Plan is written by a group of people in a local area (known as a Neighbourhood Forum). It is a plan focussed on land use within a particular neighbourhood area.
The content of a Neighbourhood Plan will depend on the particular local issues it is seeking to address. It could be a very short and focused plan on a specific topic such as design, or it could be much more comprehensive and include a range of policies on matters such as housing, the environment and local infrastructure.
These policies are then used to help determine planning applications, alongside the council's local development plan which is currently the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan (JLP).
There is a set process for preparing a plan (including independent review by an examiner) and the local community get to vote in a referendum and decide whether the plan should be adopted by the Council and used to make planning decisions.
The main legislation that sets out the neighbourhood planning system can be found in the Localism Act 2011 and The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.
Is a Neighbourhood Plan right for you? This is one of the first questions you need to ask yourself before getting started. Whilst a Neighbourhood Plan is a chance for a community to shape the development and growth of an area, Neighbourhood Plans involve quite complex processes, together with considerable work and commitment to make them a reality.
In Plymouth there are currently four Neighbourhood Planning areas at various stages:
How to get started
If you or a local group wishes to engage with neighbourhood planning in Plymouth, we encourage them in the first instance to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01752 305477.