What is Neighbourhood Planning?

The route you take to work, the places you park your car, the bus route, cycle paths, playing areas for your children, your schools, the location of allotments, community centres, shops, street layouts and lighting are all the result of planning.

There are 3 Tiers of Planning laws which govern the way plans for communities in England are created.

Tier 1 – The National Planning Policy Framework

Tier 2 – Local Plans

Tier 3 – Neighbourhood Plans

See below for more detail of each of these tiers, including basic conditions and statutory process for the Neighbourhood Plan.

Tier 1 – The National Planning Policy Framework

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied, both in terms of plan making and determining planning applications.

It sets strategic policies for each region and sets targets for Local Authorities.

It makes clear that the purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable development, which balances economic, social and environmental goals.

Tier 2 – Local Plans

Each Local Authority in England is required to create a Local Plan which sets out policies for development in their specific areas in order to deliver the targets set out in the National Planning Policy.  This includes identifying broad areas for growth, key development sites, and providing detailed policies on a range of matters including affordable housing, mixed use development, design and conservation.

The Local Plans must meet criteria set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

The Runnymede Borough Council is the Local Authority responsible for producing a Local Plan for Runnymede Borough which includes within it the Englefield Green Village Neighbourhood Area. (see Map)

Tier 3 – Neighbourhood Plans – Where you can get involved

A Neighbourhood Plan enables communities to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and develop local policies for determining planning applications within the Area. (see Map)

Neighbourhood planning was introduced under the Localism Act 2011, and gives new rights and powers to help local communities shape new development in their local area by influencing how the policies in the Local Plan (Tier 2) are interpreted.

There is a statutory process that must be followed for the making of a Neighbourhood Plan.
It covers:

  • The boundary of the Neighbourhood Area to which any Neighbourhood Plan relates.
  • The creation of a designated Neighbourhood Forum to draft and submit the Plan to Council.
  • The limitation of one Neighbourhood Plan for each Neighbourhood Area which must set out the time period for which it will apply.

The Neighbourhood Plan must meet the following ‘basic conditions’.

  • Have regard to national planning policy and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State.
  • Contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.
  • Be in general conformity with strategic policies in the development plan for the local.
  • Be compatible with EU obligations and human rights requirements.

The Useful Information and Links page provides the various policy documents mentioned above. It also shows the designated Englefield Green Village Neighbourhood area.