What is the Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood planning gives us, the local community, direct power to develop a shared vision, and to shape the development and growth of our local area. We can choose where we want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have our say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings we would like to see go ahead.
Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for us to ensure that we get the right types of development for our community, where our ambition for the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider area.
Why have we drawn up a neighbourhood plan?
To guide future development to ensure the best possible outcomes for the village and the parish as a whole. Once finalised, the neighbourhood plan becomes a legal document to be used by the parish council to evaluate new planning applications and by the borough council to enforce changes to planning applications which do not conform to the plan.
What is included in the neighbourhood plan?
The neighbourhood plan includes a vision statement, strategic aims and policies. The policies are the core of the neighbourhood plan. They are used by the parish planning committee to assess every planning application. Now the neighbourhood plan has been approved by the borough and accepted by the parish in a local referendum it has legal force and can be used by the planning committee to reject or amend applications if they contravene the requirements of one or more of the policies. In this way, the policies give the parish planning committee greater control over planning applications than before and importantly, the borough planning committee is also bound by them. Policies reflect the strategic aims of the parish so that they can be used to shape applications according to the wishes of the residents. Policies are based on evidence collected during the preparation of the neighbourhood plan document and cannot contravene any existing borough, national, or EU planning rules, nor duplicate policies that already exist in higher planning rules such as the Borough Council's local plan.
Can we put in anything we like?
No. While there is scope to specify policies unique to Burghclere, all neighbourhood plans must conform to the government's National Planning Policy Framework and the Borough Council's Local Plan. There are limits as to what a neighbourhood plan can and can't do; for example, it cannot arbitrarily stop any new development. What it can do is give us the opportunity (perhaps our only opportunity) to influence the scale and nature of such development, and to ensure it is as good as it can be for our area.
The Burghclere Neighbourhood Plan
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council adopted the Burghclere Neighbourhood Plan at its full Council meeting on 27 May 2021. The Neighbourhood Plan now forms part of the Development Plan.
Unlike the Local Plan there is no statutory requirement to review a neighbourhood plan. However, for reasons explained in a separate tab (NP review) the parish council has decided (Dec 2021) to undertake one.
How long will it take?
A neighbourhood plan can take between 2-3 years to draw up while a Review, depending on complexity, could take months, or a similar amount of time.
Who is involved?
Neighbourhood planning is a community-led project. For the current plan the parish council set up a steering group to undertake the detailed work involved. It consulted widely with parishioners, local businesses, landowners, schools and community groups such as the Sports Club, WI and others. Talks were held with the Borough Council, developers, adjoining parishes and other relevant authorities and organisations (e.g. Thames Water and SSE). Consultants were engaged to help with the more detailed and technical aspects of the Plan and to prepare it for successful submission to the Borough Council. The Parish Council is the Qualifying Body which agreed and passed it to the Local Planning Authority for examination, preparation for referendum and once it had passed referendum, for adoption. The Review will follow a similar format, although much will depend on its ambition; if limited the parish council may carry out much of the work itself, rather than drawing on a steering group to help. This has yet to be determined.