How can Harbrorough District Council help with Neighbourhood Plans?
The role of Harborough District Council in Neighbourhood Planning
Harborough District Council (HDC) is required to give you assistance and advice but it cannot control your Neighbourhood Development Plan preparation process. We also cannot produce a Neighbourhood Development Plan on behalf of your local community. It is the responsibility of the parish or town council, or the neighbourhood forum, to prepare the Neighbourhood Development Plan. It is your communities plan and as such should be written by members of the community in consultation with residents and other stakeholders to reflect the aspirations and needs of the community.
HDC must provide advice or assistance to a parish council, neighbourhood forum or community organisation that is producing a neighbourhood plan or Order as required by paragraph 3 of Schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).
- be proactive in providing information and data to communities about neighbourhood planning when required.
- fulfil its duties and take decisions as soon as possible, and within statutory time periods where these apply.
- set out a clear and transparent decision making timetable and share this with those wishing to prepare a neighbourhood plan or an Order.
- constructively engage with the Qualifying Body throughout the process including when considering the recommendations of the independent examiner of a neighbourhood development plan or Order proposal
HDC is obliged to:
- designate the neighbourhood area.
- designate a neighbourhood forum.
- issue the decision by the local planning authority on whether to put a neighbourhood plan or order proposal to referendum following receipt of the report of the independent examiner.
- issue details of time period for a local planning authority to seek further representations and make a final decision, where they propose to make a decision which differs from that recommended by the examiner.
- adhere to the time period within which the referendum must be held, following the decision that the plan or Order proposal should be put to referendum;
- adhere to the time period for a local planning authority to make a neighbourhood plan or Order after it has been approved in each applicable referendum.
- adhere to the time period for a local planning authority to make a modified neighbourhood plan following receipt of the report of the independent examiner, where the modifications do not change the nature of the plan
HDC will also be required to check your proposed Neighbourhood Development Plan to ensure that it meets all the relevant legislation and regulations. It will also check that it generally conforms to the strategic elements of its own Local Plan
Once HDC is happy that your Neighbourhood Development Plan has been prepared correctly, we will arrange for an independent examination. If your Neighbourhood Development Plan passes the examination, HDC will be responsible for arranging a local referendum concerning support for the plan. The costs incurred by the examination and the referendum will be paid for by HDC.
If the referendum supports your Neighbourhood Development Plan, then HDC must adopt it as part of the overall development plan (which includes the Local Plan and associated documents).
HDC recognise that the complexity of a Neighbourhood Development Plan can vary depending on the local requirements, and should there be issues that need further clarification, officers at Harborough District Council can be contacted for advice.
Harborough District Council will be able to also offer early advice about whether a Neighbourhood Development Plan is the most appropriate planning document for a community given the local needs and aspirations and whether a Neighbourhood Development Area is likely to be in conflict with wider strategic planning policies.