Neighbourhood Planning in East Northamptonshire
COVID-19: Implications for Neighbourhood Planning
The Ministry of Communities, Housing and Local Government (MCHLG) has released information, to explain the implications of the current Coronavirus legislation upon Neighbourhood Planning. There are some important matters that we need to bring to your attention:
- Regulations linked to the Coronavirus Act 2020 mean that no elections or referendums can take place until 6 May 2021. This includes neighbourhood planning referendums. These provisions will be kept under review and may be amended or revoked in response to changing circumstances.
- We understand this will be frustrating for communities that have dedicated significant time and effort to the neighbourhood planning process and naturally want their plans to come into force as soon as possible. With this in mind, we have updated current planning guidance to set out that neighbourhood plans awaiting referendums can be given significant weight in decision-making.
- We recognise there will be delays in progressing neighbourhood plans due to the social distancing measures currently in place across the UK. The updated planning guidance also provides further advice on the implications for conducting publicity and consultation, and examinations.
- Grants and technical support will continue to be available to support communities during the next financial year, and Locality’s advice service continues to operate as normal.
- As set out in the recently published Chief Planner’s newsletter, we will allow local authorities to make claims for new burdens grants at an earlier point in the neighbourhood planning process.
The MCHLG has also produced a FAQ document, which provides further information regarding the implications of COVID-19 for neighbourhood planning.
A number of Parish and Town Councils are now preparing Neighbourhood Plans for their respective parish areas. Details for each of these Neighbourhood Plans are set out below and more information on each can be found by clicking the purple links.
Summary tables, showing Neighbourhood Plans under preparation and "made" (adopted) Plans (as at April 2020) together with their respective status in development management (determining planning applications), may be viewed through the links below:
- Neighbourhood Area designated 12 Feb 2014
- Brigstock Neighbourhood Development Plan 2011-2031 "made" on 21 January 2019
- Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan 2016-2036 made by Rutland County Council on 17 October 2019, and East Northamptonshire Council on 9 December 2019
- Chelveston cum Caldecott Neighbourhood Plan 2016-2031 “made” on 17 July 2017
- Neighbourhood Area designated 9 May 2016
- Neighbourhood Area designated 18 May 2015
- Neighbourhood Area designated 23 August 2016
- Glapthorn Neighbourhood Plan 2016-2031 "made" on 30 July 2018
- Neighbourhood Area designated 8 April 2020
- Neighbourhood Area designated 6 September 2019
- Higham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan 2011-2031 “made” on 11 April 2016
- Neighbourhood Area designated 10 December 2014
- King’s Cliffe Neighbourhood Development Plan 2018-2031 “made” on 14 October 2019
- Oundle Neighbourhood Plan Examiner’s Report published 21 December 2019
- Raunds Neighbourhood Plan 2011-2031 “made” on 27 November 2017
- Neighbourhood Area designated 4 December 2017
- Rushden Neighbourhood Plan "made" on 4 June 2018
- Stanwick Neighbourhood Development Plan 2016-2031 “made” on 17 July 2017
- Neighbourhood Area designated 9 May 2019
- Warmington Neighbourhood Plan “made” on 17 December 2019
Neighbourhood Planning Toolkits
- Neighbourhood Planning Toolkit (North Northamptonshire) prepared by Local Authorities giving practical advice for communities in the area. The toolkit has collated a list of useful links for further information
- Northamptonshire County Council Flood Toolkit giving advice on how to consider flood risk in a Neighbourhood Plan
- The interactive policies map for "made" Neighbourhood Plans
East Northamptonshire Council have produced a Neighbourhood Planning Protocol detailing what help and guidance the council will provide for communities wishing to develop a neighbourhood plan.
Timetable of Key Stages
East Northamptonshire Council have produced a timetable highlighting key stages that Town/Parish Councils will need to go through when preparing a Neighbourhood Plan.
- Neighbourhood Plan Timetable of Key Stages
- Neighbourhood Plans - the process of independent examination
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) and Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA)
Once adopted (or "made"), a Neighbourhood Plan will become part of the statutory development plan for East Northamptonshire. It is therefore critical that all relevant legal requirements arising through the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan are fully met.
Neighbourhood Plans will therefore need to be prepared in accordance with the following legislation
The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (SI 2004 No 1633)
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (SI 2017 No 1012)
These items of legislation all require a Neighbourhood Plan to be "screened" for SEA, HRA or EIA; i.e. tested to see whether a full assessment is deemed to be necessary in each case. To assist with the process, we have prepared "model" SEA, HRA and EIA pro-formas. Relevant bodies (i.e. East Northamptonshire Council, Town Council(s), Parish Council(s) or Neighbourhood Forums) may use these three toolkits to screen an emerging Neighbourhood Plan for SEA, HRA or EIA.
- Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) screening for Neighbourhood Plans and Neighbourhood Development Orders – pro-forma
- Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) Screening for Neighbourhood Plans – pro-forma
- Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) Initial Screening Form
We will review any completed forms and send these onto the relevant bodies (English Heritage, Environment Agency, Natural England and/ or the Local Wildlife Trust etc), as appropriate. It is important that this screening is undertaken as early as possible in the Neighbourhood Planning process. This will enable Neighbourhood Planning groups (Town Council(s), Parish Council(s) or Neighbourhood Forums) to secure timely feedback and to address any issues arising from the screening exercises at an early stage.
If the SEA, HRA or EIA screening indicates that more detailed assessments will be required, it is advised that the responsible body should contact East Northamptonshire and/ or their appointed consultant (in the event that a consultant has been employed to prepare the Neighbourhood Plan). It is likely that a specialist consultant would be needed to undertake the necessary full assessments.
Neighbourhood Planning in other areas
Bedford Borough Council has received an application from Dean & Shelton Parish Council for the designation of a Neighbourhood Area. This area adjoins East Northamptonshire.
The following organisations can also provide some support and advice:
- Community Rights - Details on neighbourhood planning grants available from 1st May 2013
- RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute)
- Princes Foundation
- Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)
- National Association of Local Councils
- Rural Services Network - General overview as well as tailored local statistics/analysis for individual parishes
- Neighbourhood Planning – Technical aspects of neighbourhood planning; e.g. case law and how changes to national policy and legislation may affect neighbourhood plans
- National Trust – Guide to Heritage in Neighbourhood Plans
- Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government - Guidance explaining the neighbourhood planning system introduced by the Localism Act, including key stages and considerations required
Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO)
Local people can choose to draw up either a neighbourhood plan, or a neighbourhood development order, or both, however they must follow the same rules as a neighbourhood plan.
NDOs can grant planning permission for specified developments in a neighbourhood area, for example, certain types of household extensions, shop fronts, ‘green energy’ proposals. Where there is a neighbourhood development order in place there would be no need to apply to the council for planning permission for the development it covers.
With a NDO, the community can grant planning permission for new buildings they want to see go ahead without the need for planning applications.For further information on Neighbourhood Plans, please contact the planning policy team on 01832 742010 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Neighbourhood Planning in East Northamptonshire (you are here)
- Key Stages to Neighbourhood Planning
- Barnwell Neighbourhood Plan
- Chelveston cum Caldecott Neighbourhood Plan
- Higham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan
- Oundle Neighbourhood Plan
- Raunds Neighbourhood Plan
- Rushden Neighbourhood Plan
- Irthlingborough Neighbourhood Plan
- Stanwick Neighbourhood Plan
- Barrowden and Wakerley Joint Neighbourhood Plan
- Brigstock Neighbourhood Plan
- Deene and Deenethorpe Neighbourhood Plan
- King's Cliffe Neighbourhood Plan
- Regulation 16 Consultations
- Collyweston Neighbourhood Plan
- Glapthorn Neighbourhood Plan
- Duddington with Fineshade Neighbourhood Plan
- Warmington Neighbourhood Plan
- Ringstead Neighbourhood Plan
- Twywell Neighbourhood Plan
- Hargrave Neighbourhood Plan
- Great Addington Neighbourhood Plan
- Position Statement –Oundle Neighbourhood Plan Examination