Neighbourhood planning

Statement regarding Neighbourhood Planning and COVID-19 
 
The Government's advice is that we should stay at home and keep away from others https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others. We would therefore strongly advise town/parish councils preparing neighbourhood plans not to undertake any public consultation (unless it is exclusively online/web-based with an email or online survey response) for the purposes of preparing a neighbourhood plan until the Government's restrictions on the public freedom of movement have been lifted. In addition, town/parish councils should not carry out statutory Pre Submission Consultation and Publicity (Regulation 14*) as it is not considered that the regulatory requirements of consultation and publicity can safely be met.  
 
The Council will not be undertaking any Neighbourhood Area consultation (Regulation 16*), Publicising a Plan Proposal or a Modification Proposal (Regulation 16*) consultation and no Neighbourhood Plan Referendums shall take place until the Government's restrictions on the public freedom of movement have been lifted and we are satisfied that the full terms of the regulatory requirements (and terms of the adopted Statements of Community Involvement) can be met. 
 
We will update parish and town councils and the relevant Council websites when there has been a material change in the circumstances set out above.
 
1st April 2020
 
* The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 as amended
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/637/contents

Neighbourhood planning gives communities the power to:
  • make a neighbourhood development plan – sets out where new homes and offices should be built and how they should look
  • make a neighbourhood development order – gives the community the ability to grant planning permission
  • make a Community Right to Build order – gives permission for small-scale, site-specific developments by a community group

The process

  1. Buckinghamshire Council consults on the designation of Neighbourhood Areas
  2. The town or parish council consults on the pre-submission stage of their own neighbourhood plan
  3. Buckinghamshire Council holds a public consultation on the plan, and the responses are sent to an independent examiner
  4. If the plan passes independent examination, the local community votes on whether it supports the plan
  5. If the plan is supported, it will be used to inform planning decisions in that neighbourhood