Neighbourhood Planning

Neighbourhood Plans in Adur and Worthing:

About Neighbourhood Planning:

See also:

Introduction to Neighbourhood Planning

The Localism Act 2011 introduced Neighbourhood Plans, whereby Parish Councils and neighbourhood forums can, if they wish, produce plans to shape and manage development for their local areas.

Regulations governing the development and progression of Neighbourhood Planning have been produced; however the main principles are outlined below. Planning Policy Guidance also sets out the key stages.

See also:

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What will Neighbourhood Plans do?

They will give local communities the opportunity to come together through a Parish Council (or where there is no Parish Council, a Neighbourhood Forum) and shape the development and growth of their local area. Neighbourhood Planning enables communities to play a stronger role in shaping the areas they live and work in, and supporting new development proposals. The matters to be addressed in a Neighbourhood Plan must relate to development and the use of land and would have the aim of furthering the social, economic and environmental well-being of individuals in the area, as well as shaping the area for the future.

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What type of area is suitable for Neighbourhood Plans?

The areas suitable for Neighbourhood Plans can be parishes and neighbourhoods (in areas that do not have parishes such as Worthing, this could include areas such as wards, housing estates and areas covered by residents' associations). Where there are not parish councils, the local authority will adjudicate on the boundary of the plan that a neighbourhood forum wants to prepare.

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Who can produce Neighbourhood Plans?

Parish Councils and Neighbourhood Forums (the latter to be formally designated by the Councils) can produce Neighbourhood Plans. Developers, businesses and landowners could be involved and work with local communities - funding and bringing forward plans.

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What should Neighbourhood Plans address?

A Neighbourhood Plan should support the strategic development needs that are set out in the Local Plan and plan positively to support local development. They can be used to address the development and use of land. If successful at examination and referendum the Neighbourhood Plan comes into force as part of the statutory development plan A Neighbourhood Plan attains the same legal status as the Local Plan once it has been approved at a referendum. Applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise (see section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 - on the Legislation UK website). 

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What is the role of the local authority?

The creation of Neighbourhood Plans is a partnership between the local community and the Councils. The Councils can advise and assist with the process. The Regulations require that the Local Planning Authority facilitate the public consultation and the arranging and holding of the independent examination and the referendum. Unfortunately, with severe budget restrictions, the Councils will not be able to financially support Neighbourhood Plan production beyond what is currently budgeted for plan making unless further funding is made available by the Government. The following document outlines the support available from Adur & Worthing Councils to those undertaking Neighbourhood Plans:

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Planning context for Adur and Worthing

The Act makes clear that there remains the need to produce a district-wide development plan to set overall housing numbers and employment levels and to indicate broad locations for new development and change and strategic infrastructure over the next 20 years.

Any Neighbourhood Plan must be in line with national policies and also the strategic policies in an adopted district-wide/borough-wide plan. These plans incorporate the housing and employment floorspace targets for the area and development site allocations for housing, employment and other uses.

For Adur, this is the adopted Adur Local Plan 2017.

For Worthing, this is the adopted Core Strategy (2011) but in due course will be the emerging Worthing Local Plan.

For further information please see Planning Practice Guidance - on the GOV.UK website.

Further details of timetabling for Development Plan Documents (DPDs) and Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) can be found in:

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Will communities be able to use Neighbourhood Plans to stop development in their area?

Neighbourhood Plans must be in line with strategic policies and will not be able to block any new strategic development. The purpose of Neighbourhood Planning is about enabling development and adapting development to suit the community's needs but not stopping it. As a result, Neighbourhood Plans must provide for as much or more development as the District/Borough Council's plans require.

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What are the main steps in preparing a plan?

The main steps are:

  • Designating the neighbourhood area, and if appropriate, neighbourhood forum
  • Preparing a draft Neighbourhood Plan
  • Pre-submission publicity and consultation
  • Submission of a Neighbourhood Plan to the local planning authority
  • Independent examination
  • Referendum and bringing the Neighbourhood Plan into force

For more information see:

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Useful links on external websites

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Page last updated: 09 August 2022

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