The Localism Act 2011 has provided an opportunity for people to have more say about what goes on in their local area through the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans. Local community organisations that meet certain requirements or Parish and Town councils are able to prepare Neighbourhood Plans, Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders.
A community-led framework for guiding the future development and growth of an area
which must conform to the strategic policies of the Mid Devon Local Plan
Neighbourhood Development Orders
A means for parish/town councils or neighbourhood forums to grant permission
for certain types of development within a specific area
Community Right to Build Orders
These can be used to grant permission for development schemes e.g. housing
A neighbourhood plan is prepared by Town and Parish Councils or by local community groups, not the District Council. A neighbourhood plan can promote sustainable growth but will not be able to prevent development that had already been included in the Local Plan. Neighbourhood Plans, like Local Plans, must be in accordance with national planning policy.
Topics a neighbourhood plan might include:
- The development of housing, of any type
- Promotion of renewable energy projects (e.g., wind turbines, solar energy)
- Transport and access issues (e.g., roads, cycling, walking, disabled access)
- The design of buildings
- Protection and creation of open space, play areas
A neighbourhood plan must not:
- Conflict with the strategic policies in the Local Plan
- Be used to prevent development already allocated in the Local Plan.
- Provide policy on non-land use matters (for example speed limits, dog fouling, types of farming practice etc)
While a Neighbourhood Plan can include policies that are tailored to meet the specific needs and ambitions of a local area it should seek to avoid:
- Repeating Local Plan or National policies
- Introducing slightly different or ambiguous wording that may lead to difficultly in reconciling policies in the Neighbourhood Plan and Local Plan
A Neighbourhood Plan does not need to cover every topic that is included in the Local Plan. It might include policies for only a handful of issues, such as local housing need, climate change, and areas of local green space, where a local community feels that something is not satisfactorily covered in the Local Plan. It can also be used to identify and allocate areas of land for development or regeneration within the Neighbourhood Plan area and may amend a defined settlement limit.
Toolkits and guidance on neighbourhood planning have been produced by Locality. Locality is a national membership network supporting local community organisations, which provides specialist advice and resources, and also information about grant funding. Grant funding can be used to help pay for preparing technical evidence to support a Neighbourhood Plan, or for a suitable Consultant who can provide bespoke advice to help a Town and Parish Council write their Neighbourhood Plan.
Neighbourhood Planning Regulations below set formal process for preparing a neighbourhood plan:
- The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012
- The Neighbourhood Planning (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
- The Neighbourhood Planning (General) and Development Management Procedure (Amendment) Regulations 2016
- The Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 (Commencement No. 3) Regulations 2018
Before you start with preparations for your Neighbourhood Plan, we encourage you to read How to create a neighbourhood Plan: Your step by step roadmap guide produced by Locality. This describes each stage in the plan making process so that the neighbourhood planning group can understand each necessary statutory stage. It also contains good practice based on the experience of other neighbourhood planning groups.
Town and Parish Councils and Neighbourhood Forums will need to apply to Mid Devon District Council in order to designate a neighbourhood plan area. This will require the submission of:
- A map identifying the area to which the application relates;
- A statement explaining why this area is considered appropriate to be designated as a neighbourhood area;
- A statement that the organisation or body making the area application is a relevant body for the purposes of Section 61G of the 1990 Town & Country Planning Act
Once the application is received we will publish the submitted information on our website showing:
- A copy of the area application;
- Details of how to make representations; and
- The date by which representations must be received.
The application may also be advertised locally on Parish and Town Council notice boards and websites to ensure that it is brought to the attention of people who live, work or conduct business in the area.
Mid Devon District Council will also advise neighbouring Parish and Town Councils of the application.
The District Council can support the preparation of a neighbourhood plan by the following means:
- Provide some general assistance and advice
- Agree and formally designate the neighbourhood area
- Provide information and evidence where this is available
- Help with the consultation process (which will be the responsibility of the District Council once the Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted for its examination)
- Check the Neighbourhood Plan meets all relevant legislation and regulations
- Check general conformity with the Local Plan
- Arrange and pay for an independent examination
- Arrange and pay for a local referendum
- Adopt the Neighbourhood Plan as part of the overall Development Plan if it has been supported through its examination and local referendum
Neighbourhood Plan Areas in Mid Devon
The Tiverton Neighbourhood Plan has been formally ’made’ on 14 December 2022. It is a statutory development plan, sitting alongside Mid Devon District Council’s Local Plan. View all related documents here.
The Cullompton Neighbourhood Plan has been formally ‘made’ on 30th June 2021. It is a statutory development plan, sitting alongside Mid Devon District Council’s Local Plan. View all related documents here.
Following an independent examination of the Silverton Neighbourhood Plan, Mid Devon District Council accepted the examiner’s recommendation that, subject to the modifications, the Silverton Neighbourhood Plan can proceed to a Referendum View all related documents here.
The Crediton Neighbourhood Plan has been formally ‘made’ on 26 October 2022. It is a statutory development plan, sitting alongside Mid Devon District Council’s Local Plan. View all related documents here.
The Newton St Cyres Neighbourhood Area was designated on Wednesday 15 December 2021. View all related documents here.
The Willand Neighbourhood Area was designated on Wednesday 21 June 2023. View all related documents here.
The Lapford Neighbourhood Area was designated on 26 September 2023. View all related documents here.