Second reading for Neighbourhood Planning Bill approaches: consultation until 19 October

04 October 2016

The latest bulletin from the neighbourhood planning team in the Department for Communities and Local Government provides an update on the latest news and policy developments, how the neighbourhood planning team can help communities, and how communities’ varied work on the ground fits with the national picture.

Measures in the new Neighbourhood Planning Bill aim to support more housebuilding and provide more local say over developments, said the Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell.The Bill will speed up and strengthen the popular neighbourhood planning process by simplifying how plans can be revised as local circumstances change and ensure that plans come into force sooner once approved by local people.

The Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 7 September, with the parliamentary scrutiny process due to begin in earnest at ‘second reading’ on 10 October. The Bill will further strengthen neighbourhood planning and also contains provisions to improve the use of planning conditions by LPAs and continue the reforms of the compulsory purchase regime. 

A six week public consultation is now underway (closing 19 October 2016) on the regulations required to implement some of the neighbourhood planning provisions in the Bill.

This consultation seeks views on detailed regulations to implement the neighbourhood planning provisions in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill.

The Government proposes that regulations would cover 3 matters:

  • the detailed procedures for modifying neighbourhood plans and Orders
  • the examination of a neighbourhood plan proposal where a neighbourhood area has been modified and a neighbourhood plan has already been made in relation to that area
  • requirement for local planning authorities to review their Statements of Community Involvement at regular intervals

More specifically on neighbourhood planning, the Bill will:

Require local planning authorities and others who decide planning applications to have regard to neighbourhood plans that have been independently examined; once the decision has been taken to put the plan to a referendum;

  • Give neighbourhood plans that have passed each applicable referendum full legal effect at the earliest opportunity;
  • Introduce a process for modifying neighbourhood plans that is proportionate to the changes proposed;
  • Clarify the procedure for modifying the boundary of a neighbourhood area without affecting existing neighbourhood plans or Orders;
  • Require local planning authorities to publish their policies on the advice or assistance they will give to neighbourhood planning groups, and
  • Require local planning authorities to set out how they would involve communities in the earliest, preparatory, stages of their plan-making activity.

The Bill and explanatory notes are available on the Parliament website, alongside a diagram that tracks the parliamentary progress of the Bill. 


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