Neighbourhood Plan Reviews
Reviewing a Neighbourhood Plan
If your adopted Neighbourhood Plan is 3 to 5 years old, some of the policies may not worked as well as your community wished or perhaps parts of the Plan have been superseded by the adoption of the Local Plan in 2019, then it may be time to consider a review.
There are 3 types of modification which can be made to a neighbourhood plan or order. The process will depend on the degree of change which the modification involves:
Minor (non-material) modifications to a neighbourhood plan or order are those which would not materially affect the policies in the plan or permission granted by the order. These may include correcting errors, such as a reference to a supporting document, and would not require examination or a referendum.
Material modifications which do not change the nature of the plan or order would require examination but not a referendum. This might, for example, entail the addition of a design code that builds on a pre-existing design policy, or the addition of a site or sites which, subject to the decision of the independent examiner, are not so significant or substantial as to change the nature of the plan.
Material modifications which do change the nature of the plan or order would require examination and a referendum. This might, for example, involve allocating significant new sites for development.
We suggest the following as useful first actions:
- Think about where the adopted Plan is referencing old documents (Core Strategy, NPPF 2012 etc.). The Local Plan 2011 to 2031 should be referenced along with the NPPF 2021.
- Think about other matters that have changed e.g. housing developments have been commenced/completed. Again, these alterations can be made as matters of fact.
These are essentially desk-based exercises that can be completed without consultation, examination or referendum. If these amendments are sufficient then the plan can be ‘made’ by the LPA without consultation, examination or referendum. It will then replace the existing Plan.
Secondly, we suggest considering each of the policies of the Plan. Are there any that did not work as intended, or are there policy areas that are now redundant or others that you want to include?
If additional policies or changes of policy are required, does the evidence base need to be updated?
If more substantial changes are needed to the Plan then the Neighbourhood Planning Group will have to start the consultation process to seek the communities view on what is required and how changes should be included in the Plan. The process is essentially the same as the NDP process previously used, but there is an additional requirement to provide a statement by the Qualifying Body at Regulation 14 stage stating which level of changes the new Plan triggers and to submit that statement to the LPA with the revised Plan and other statutory documentation.
The reviewed Plan is submitted to HDC who then deal with the examination and referendum, if required, depending on whether the changes alter the nature of the plan policies.
NDP groups do not need to submit a new Neighbourhood Area Plan. The designation is still relevant, as is the old NDP until it is superseded. The Parish Council is still the Qualifying body (QB) and a dialogue with the District Council at an early stage will help ensure that the Plan review runs smoothly.
Grant Funding for Reviews of Neighbourhood Plans
Grants are still available for reviewing NDPs. We suggest having a think about what level of review is required before applying for a grant as you will need to justify the application. Details of grants can be found on the link below
funding is available for one review in any 5 year period and has been confirmed for the period 2022/23.