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Neighbourhood Planning


The Government's recent Localism Act gives new powers to local communities to manage development in their area, including the ability to write 'Neighbourhood Plans', or development plans for a neighbourhood - a parish, town or part of an urban area.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan and should your parish have one?

A neighbourhood plan sets out planning policy for a neighbourhood and, once adopted by the District Council, becomes the main document against which planning applications in the area must be judged. It can, for example:

  • identify key priorities for a community that relate to use of land
  • define where new homes, commercial premises or other development should be built
  • influence what new buildings should look like
  • protect locally valued buildings or green space
  • add detail to district planning policy as set out in the Core Strategy

It can't be used to stop development or override district or national policy.

In a parished area such as Sedgemoor, a neighbourhood plan must be led by the Town or Parish Council. Following the gathering of evidence, consultation with the local community and drafting of the plan, it needs to be checked for legal conformity by an independent inspector. It is then voted on in a referendum in the area which it covers, and must gain a majority of the votes in order to be adopted as planning policy by the District Council.

Neighbourhood plans give more local control over development and can provide a focus for achieving community aspirations. However they are also likely to be costly in time, energy and money, and depending on local circumstances, there may be easier ways to achieve priorities. Sedgemoor District Council has been working with several communities to help them decide if a neighbourhood plan is the right way forward, and has produced the guide Icon for pdf Planning for Local Communities [1.21MB] . Two other types of community plan which may be more appropriate for particular parishes are Village Design Statements and Parish Plans - please read the briefing note available to download at the bottom of the page for a general explanation of different types of community plan.

Where can I get help with Neighbourhood Planning?

The independent organisation Locality has been provided with government funding to provide help and advice with neighbourhood planning. Locality is also administering government grants which neighbourhood planning groups may apply for. More information is available on the Locality website.

The following links should also be helpful as pointers towards further resources available on the Internet.

Guidance

Neighbourhood Planning Forum
CPRE: How to shape where you live
Neighbourhood Planning: A guide for Ward Councillors

Ashcott Neighbourhood Plan

The Ashcott Neighbourhood Plan was formally adopted as part of the development plan for the district on 19th October 2016.


Axbridge Neighbourhood Plan: Designation of Neighbourhood Area

Sedgemoor District Council has approved the designation of the parish of Axbridge as a Neighbourhood Area, in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.


Burnham and Highbridge Area Neighbourhood Plan

The Burnham and Highbridge Area Neighbourhood Plan was formally submitted to Sedgemoor District Council in September 2017.


Cannington Neighbourhood Plan: Designation of Neighbourhood Area

Sedgemoor District Council has approved the designation of the parish of Cannington as a Neighbourhood Area, in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.


Cheddar Neighbourhood Plan

The Cheddar Neighbourhood Plan was formally submitted to Sedgemoor District Council in June 2017.


Nether Stowey Neighbourhood Plan: Designation of Neighbourhood Area

Sedgemoor District Council has approved the designation of the parish of Nether Stowey as a Neighbourhood Area, in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.


North Petherton Neighbourhood Plan: Designation of Neighbourhood Area

Sedgemoor District Council has approved the designation of the parish of North Petherton as a Neighbourhood Area, in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.


Puriton Neighbourhood Plan: Designation of Neighbourhood Area

Sedgemoor District Council has approved the designation of the parish of Puriton as a Neighbourhood Area, in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.


Wedmore Neighbourhood Plan: Designation of Neighbourhood Area

Sedgemoor District Council has approved the designation of the parish of Wedmore as a Neighbourhood Area, in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.

NP Advice Note 1 - Designation of Neighbourhood Area [128.45KB] NP Advice Note 2 - Planning Policy Context [262.92KB] NP Advice Note 3 - Environmental Assessment [396.63KB] NP Advice Note 4 - Site Assessment Matrix [162.13KB] Planning for Local Communities [1.21MB] Community Planning Briefing Note [189.04KB]