Published: Thursday, 8th September 2016
Consultation response reaffirms government intension to make it easier for residents and business to come together to produce a neighbourhood plan...
The government has confirmed it is committed to changes to the neighbourhood planning regime mooted during the passage of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and covered by the technical consultation on planning changes carried out earlier this year.
The administration has said it intends to develop regulations and guidance as quickly as possible. The objective is to lay new regulations in Parliament which should come into effect by October 2016. National planning guidance will be updated when the new regulations take effect.
The new regulations will cover a number of issues. These include the process for designating a neighbourhood area, time periods for designating a neighbourhood forum, time periods for key local authority decisions following receipt of the examiner's report on a neighbourhood plan and a procedure for the rare cases where the Secretary of State may intervene to send a plan to referendum at the request of a qualifying body.
So far more than 1,900 communities across England, covering nearly 10 million people, have started the process of neighbourhood planning.
Since 2013, all 200 plans that have progressed to the referendum stage have been approved by voters, with nearly 340,000 votes cast. On average some 89 per cent of people who have voted were in favour of the proposed plan for their neighbourhood.