Longridge Town Council has embarked upon the process to achieve a Neighbourhood Plan (NP).
There is a great deal of information available on the web about NPs.
The official source, DCLG, says that Communities will be able to:
- Choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built
- Have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided
- Grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead
In our case in Longridge, because the Town Council is NOT the planning authority (RVBC is), the last point does NOT apply.
An NP CANNOT block new development required in the Ribble Valley Core Strategy (which has to be treated as the “senior” policy), nor can it ignore the even more “senior” layer of policy, the National Planning Policy Framework.
The process for adopting an NP is prescriptive to the extent that there are four stages.
- Area Designation Order
- Publication and Consultation
Longridge Town Council has agreed, subject to ratification by RVBC, (Planning Committee 12 September 2013) the area to be subject to the NP as the 3 town wards of Alston, Dilworth and Hothersall. In the meantime, conscious that time passes very quickly, we intend to:
- Draft up the funding application to DCLG ready for submission following ratification by committee on 12th Sept. An RVBC officer is helping with this.
- Work up an issues paper for publication for consultation as soon as is possible after 12th Sept.
- Outline the process with draft timescales from now through to referendum to ensure transparency.
The Neighbourhood Planning process is independent of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s consultation on the proposed main changes to the Core Strategy and Local Development Framework.
A six-week consultation is taking place from Monday 12 August until 5.00pm on Friday 20 September, during which time comments are sought on a series of changes to the Local Development Framework (LDF) Evidence Base, which underpins the Core Strategy as well as a schedule of proposed main modifications to the Core Strategy itself.
The Core Strategy Examination process was suspended in late 2012 to allow for work to be undertaken on updating elements of the evidence base. The examination process is due to recommence on 1 September 2013 and the appointed Inspector has recommended that the consultation should begin before this date.
Contained within the Core Strategy is a chapter on the provision of housing planning permissions until 2028. he Borough Council is required to set out how many housing units it will grant planning permission for during the period of the strategy. (At this stage this is approximately 5000 across the borough or approximately 1% growth per annum)
As part of the strategy document the council is also required to demonstrate that it has a land supply to fulfil that target. This land supply is identified in the document as Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment. (SHLAA). Sites identified in the SHLAA do NOT have planning permission simply by being included in the document.