Parish councils have a discretionary right to produce a neighbourhood plan setting out policies on the development and use of land within their parish and showing how the level of growth identified in the local plan is to be met or exceeded. Once a neighbourhood plan is made, it becomes part of the development plan - a statutory plan against which planning applications are judged. Neighbourhood plans need to conform to planning policies and guidance at the local, national and European level, including the strategic policies of the local plan. They also need to demonstrate support from the local community through a referendum.
Craven neighbourhood plans
If a parish or town council wishes to prepare a neighbourhood plan, it must apply to Craven District Council, as local planning authority, to designate a neighbourhood area, which is the area to be covered by the plan. Craven District Council will publicise the application and invite comments from people who live, work or carry on business in the proposed neighbourhood area. Following the consultation period and the consideration of comments received, Craven District Council's role is to then designate the neighbourhood area.
Once a neighbourhood area is designated, the next step for the parish council is to begin preparation of a neighbourhood plan in consultation with those living and working in the area, and those with an interest in the proposals, such as service providers. Full details of all the steps involved are set out in Key Stages in the Neighbourhood Planning Process.
Neighbourhood plan guidance for communities
Communities looking for some good independent advice on the best way to put a neighbourhood plan together are likely to find the following links particularly useful.