In 2011, the Localism Act created a process called ‘neighbourhood planning’. The aim was to put more control of Planning matters in the hands of local people. It can also help to determine an agenda for local communities to tackle issues of concern.
Broadhembury Parish Council started work on a neighbourhood plan in 2013. We were one of the earliest ‘neighbourhoods’ to do this and we collaborated with other parishes in the Blackdown Hills. We believed that a plan would help us secure more access to grants, give us more say over planning decisions made by EDDC and really determine what the community wanted
The work was conducted by four Parish Councillors and four members of the public. We were assisted by a Planning Officer from EDDC and a consultant. All fees were met from government grants specifically set aside for this purpose.
The process to construct a neighbourhood plan has to follow a laid-down pattern to ensure that it is based on evidence, that the community has been consulted and that it is in ‘general conformity’ with EDDC’s Local Plan which confusingly has precedence over the more ‘local’ plan. It also needs to comply with national planning policy guidance and regulations.
The first step we to collect the ‘Evidence base’. This document pulls together all the relevant information and evidence which has to be considered. You can download this document here
Before all this started we had conducted a survey in 2013 to see if people wanted more housing in the parish. This survey initially determined our view about development which was subsequently revised as a result of later consultation
A larger housing needs survey was conducted on our behalf using a national recognised approach . This approach is used by Local Authorities and Housing Associations to get an idea of housing need.
The Community Council of Devon assessed ‘affordable housing’ on our request and their report ( click below) informed our discussions
Download the draft Neighbourhood Plan here:
The file format is Microsoft Word. The file is 68.3 mb.
After this, and many consultations with local people in meetings, on line, in the Parish magazine, and by door-to-door leaflets we produced a plan. The pre-submission version of our plan can be seen here:This version is the final pre-submission version, made available here 28th August 2018.
That’s not all. When a Plan is submitted it has to be supported by a statement which identifies how it complies with the law. This is known as the ‘Basic Conditions ‘ statement. This is a technical document and it is reproduced below
Finally the plan needs a ‘Sustainability Assessment’ which sets out sustainability credentials of the plan. This assessment, carried out for us by EDDC needs to be revised but it is included here for information
In addition the plan requires a ‘Communications report’ which lists the steps we have taken to engage with the community. This report will follow ASAP.
What happens now?
We are having formal ‘pre-submission’ discussions with EDDC, who have to be happy with the policies in the plan before they will refer it to the next stage : a review by the Planning Inspectorate. If these discussions are successful, and the sustainability appraisal is revised then the plan goes to the next phase
Broadhembury Parish Council
6th October 2018