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Information about neighbourhood Plans

Key facts and information

What is a Neighbourhood Plan

A Neighbourhood Plan is a new type of plan which will focus on very local areas. Communities with Parish and Town Councils produce the plan with our help. Policies included in neighbourhood plans need to relate to:

  • the use of land in the area
  • spatial matters - aspects that affect how a place works

When adopted, they will form part of the overall development plan for Torbay. They will be a key part when all planning applications in that area are being considered.

Can it prevent development in the area

No. A Neighbourhood Plan can guide development to be more appropriate to local context. It can help decide where it goes. The government has made it clear that it is not a tool for stopping development.

Will Neighbourhood Plans allocate land

This will depend on how the community want to progress their plan. The plan can allocate land if required.

Is the Council still progressing a new Local Plan or just Neighbourhood Plans

The Council is still progressing the new Local Plan which will span the whole of Torbay. It will contain overarching Strategic Policies and Development Management Polices. Neighbourhood plans can develop in tandem with the new Local Plan.

If we have a Neighbourhood Plan does this mean that we don’t have to use the Local Plan

No. The Local Plan remains part of the development plan. It will continue to play a key part in determining planning applications. Neighbourhood Plans will form a new tier of planning at a very local level. They will form part of the development plan for their area. They will still need to conform to the overarching adopted Local Plan.

Which carries more planning weight - a Neighbourhood Plan or the Torbay Local Plan

We can only determine the importance of a policy in relation to the specific proposal. Neighbourhood Plans and the Local Plan should complement each other. We will base decisions primarily around policies in adopted Neighbourhood Plans and the Local Plan

I’m a developer - do I have to use Neighbourhood Plans when putting in planning applications

Yes. Planning applications will need to have regard to all relevant policy.

How does a Neighbourhood Plan get adopted as planning policy

Current guidance suggests that the plan will be subject to approval by the Council. An independent examination will then take place. it will then be subject to a local referendum and need to gain a 50 per cent level of support.

How to get involved in neighbourhood planning

Either email or phone the relevant Neighbourhood Forum Secretary for your area.

How much will it cost

In previous years we have made successful bids for funding from government initiatives. The cost of delivering Neighbourhood Plans is likely to exceed any funding available. Neighbourhood Forums may wish to establish other funding initiatives. This could be in partnership with the Council, the Private sector and other agencies.

Key guidance documents

Neighbourhood Planning - A guide to Neighbourhood Planning in Torbay.

National Planning Policy Framework - A summary of the headlines from the National Planning Policy Framework.

Neighbourhood Planning Regulations - A summary of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations and how they work on Torbay.