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Neighbourhood Planning

What Neighbourhood Planning is

Neighbourhood planning (opens new window) provides an opportunity to change attitudes towards development through positive engagement by local communities, giving communities more control over the future of their area and local people having the chance to have their say on what happens where they live. 

Neighbourhood Planning is a tier of Planning Policy that empowers communities to shape the development and growth of a local area. It is important to highlight that Neighbourhood Plans must be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan in force.

There are three different types of Neighbourhood Planning documents:

  • Neighbourhood Plan - Neighbourhood Planning activity in Wiltshire Council (Neighbourhood Planning activity map) set out planning policies for the development and the use of land in a local area; once adopted a Neighbourhood Plan forms part of the statutory documentation that is used to determine planning applications
  • Neighbourhood Development Order (information on Neighbourhood Development Orders can be viewed under the 'Alternative options to producing a neighbourhood plan' drop down)
  • Community Right to Build Order (information on Community Right to Build Orders can be viewed under the 'Alternative options to producing a neighbourhood plan' drop down)

A neighbourhood plan can:

  • establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a particular area
  • include local priorities, planning policies, proposals for improving an area or providing new facilities or infrastructure and allocation of key sites for development

Neighbourhood planning is a tool to promote sustainable growth and will not be able to prevent development in an area. Neighbourhood plans can only include proposals for an equal (or greater) amount of growth that is set out in the statutory development plan.

Adopted Neighbourhood Plans will form part of the statutory Development Plan for the area which includes the Wiltshire Core Strategy incorporating saved policies from district local plans, Chippenham Site Allocations Plan,  Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan, Minerals and Waste Plans and made Neighbourhood Plans.

It is important that communities work closely with Wiltshire Council when developing their neighbourhood plan. Further information on local plans, policies and strategies can be viewed on Wiltshire Council's Planning policy (Local Plan) pages.

Preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan must follow procedures set out in the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations. To find out more, see The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (legislation.gov.uk).

Wiltshire Council will take an active role in advising and supporting local communities in their plan preparation by sharing evidence, information and making sure the neighbourhood plan fits with the strategic policies of the Wiltshire development plan and national policy (GOV.UK: Policy paper - National Planning Policy Framework (opens new window) (NPPF)).The neighbourhood planning process is led by the town or parish councils. 

The Council has produced Neighbourhood Planning Guidance Notes which provides assistance and support to those communities wishing to produce a Neighbourhood Plan.

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