Frequently Asked Questions

Full Questions & Answers are here : Communities & Local Planning FAQ NDP


What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A neighbourhood plan is a new type of plan introduced in the Localism Act. It will be the result of a community working together to decide how their local area should develop and grow in the future

Who can prepare Neighbourhood Plans?
Neighbourhood plans can be prepared by parish or town councils for the area for which they are  a designated authority. Plans can also be developed by ‘Neighbourhood Forums’ which is where a group of people from a local area come together to define a community plan.  In Effingham the Parish Council is the body which will drive the plan forward for the whole parish.

What influence does a Neighbourhood Plan have?

A neighbourhood plan is a new level of statutory planning sitting below the Local Development Framework which is the responsibility of Guildford Borough Council to create. These plans form the Development Plan and are used to determine planning applications.
A neighbourhood plan can influence the type, design, location and mix of new development, however it cannot block new development required to meet the borough’s existing and future needs.

What other types of neighbourhood planning are there?

A Neighbourhood Plan will set out the vision, general principles and policies for an area. There are two new other types of planning powers local communities can now use in the context of Neighbourhood Planning – 

  • Neighbourhood Development Orders – these allow for certain types of development without the need for planning permission. 
  • Community Right to Build Order– this allows a local area to build small scale housing developments, shops or community facilities.

All three types of new neighbourhood planning powers can be used in conjunction. 

Can a Neighbourhood Plan stop development happening in an area?

No – a neighbourhood plan can guide development to be more appropriate to local context and help decide where it goes within the area. A neighbourhood plan cannot stop development and government has made it clear that it is not a tool for residents to oppose proposals for new developments close to them. A neighbourhood plan can only include proposals for an equal (or greater) amount of growth than is set out in the Council’s development plan, regional and national guidance.

What is the difference between Neighbourhood Plans and Village Plans?

Village Plans can cover all things important to a community. Neighbourhood plans are restricted to land use and development matters, which once adopted will become part of the formal local development plan,  and should relate to the use and development of land within a designated neighbourhood. In addition, the process and regulations set out in the Localism Act 2011 will need to be followed when preparing a neighbourhood plan. The Effingham Village Plan will seek to incorporate elements of Neighbourhood Planning to underpin delivery of the broader Village Plan.

What weight will be given to Neighbourhood Plans in deciding local planning matters?

When adopted, neighbourhood plans will be statutory planning documents. They will form part of the local development plan for Guildford Borough. Neighbourhood plans, once adopted, will have significant weight in making decisions on planning applications.

How long will the plan take to develop?

As part of the development of the plan a thorough review of existing schemes and proposals must be reviewed and the process must allow for extensive consultation and engagement amongst local people. We envisage the process in Effingham will take around two years to complete.

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