The Localism Act of 2012 gives towns and villages such as ours the opportunity to have a greater say in the future development of their area. This is done through a Neighbourhood Plan which defines such items as where we would like new housing to be built; the mix of housing types needed; the location of retail or commercial premises; green space to be protected; and the infrastructure needs to support growth of the town. A properly prepared and approved Neighbourhood Plan has legal status similar to the SODC’s Local Plan and will eventually sit alongside the Local Plan 2032 as a part of the Local Development Scheme.

A neighbourhood plan must meet the basic conditions and other matters set out in the Localism Act 2011, and it is the role of the independent examiner to test whether a neighbourhood plan meets these “basic conditions”.

The basic conditions are:

  • Having regard to national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State, it is appropriate to make the neighbourhood plan;
  • The making of the neighbourhood plan contributes to the achievement of sustainable development;
  • The making of the neighbourhood plan is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan for the area;
  • The making of the neighbourhood plan does not breach, and is otherwise compatible with, European Union (EU) obligations;
  • Prescribed conditions are met in relation to the neighbourhood plan and prescribed matters have been complied with in connection with the proposal for the neighbourhood plan

Here are some links that may be of use to you: