Neighbourhood Plan Process

Plan Process

In order that a Neighbourhood Plan should hold actual weight in determining planning applications, it must go through a robust process to be adopted (or ‘made’).  There are several steps involved:

Following on from previous attempts to develop a Plan, we had a wealth of information about what the community thinks is important and what the future should look like in Tiverton.  We used this to create a vision for Tiverton and our volunteers have used this information and other evidence to develop draft policies.

We had the draft Plan ready for Informal Public Consultation the Autumn 2020. Many people responded and the updated Plan takes account of local wishes as much as possible.

The first formal round of consultations takes place during April and May 2021, following which The Plan will be further updated.

At this point, we are ready to submit the document – now the ‘Submission Plan’ – to Mid-Devon District Council, which will embark on a further formal consultation for six weeks.

During this time, we will work with Mid-Devon to select an Independent Examiner to formally examine the plan. He or she will visit Tiverton and may want to hold sessions on some of the topic areas covered in the Plan. The Examiner’s job is to check that the Plan meets what are known as ‘the Basic Conditions’ – in other words, does the plan comply with national planning policy and also Mid-Devon’s policies.

A report will be issued to us, and we will possibly have some final amendments to make to the document before it goes to the final stage, which is a local referendum.

Everyone who is registered to vote within Tiverton will have the opportunity to vote on whether they want the Tiverton Neighbourhood Plan to guide planning policy in the parish. A simple majority is required for it to be successful.

TNP timeline

Our current thinking about when we might get to the different stages of the plan process looks like this:


Date Milestone
June to August 2020 Work on the draft Pre-Submission Neighbourhood Plan – COMPLETED
Autumn 2020 Informal public consultation – COMPLETED
October to November 2020 Health-check and screening by Mid-Devon District Council – COMPLETED
April to end May 2021 First formal round of public consultation on the draft Plan
June 2021 Revising the Plan based on the feedback from the consultation and submitting to Mid Devon District Council
June to August 2021 Second formal round of public consultation
September 2021 Independent Examination and Report
October 2021 The Plan is finalised for the referendum
November 2021 Further publicity about Referendum version of The Plan
by December 2021 Referendum takes place and Plan is ‘made’ (adopted) – subject to pandemic restrictions by this time


Alison Eardley is our Planning Consultant, and has helped us prepare the Plan and its supporting documents.  Alison has worked with many Neighbourhood Plan groups on their plans and brings a great deal of experience to the team locally. She is funded largely through Government grants, which helps us keep our Town Council precept costs to a minimum.

We contracted a consultancy called AECOM to help us put together some of the evidence for the Plan. So far, they have prepared for us a HNA Tiverton Final, which reveals the challenges we face when it comes to housing locally and what we can do to overcome this. This helped prepare our housing policies. We asked asked them to prepare a Character Appraisal of the parish, which will revealed more about the local history and heritage of Tiverton. The outcome of this work is the development of Design Guidance that underpins the Neighbourhood Policies on Character and Design. This will help us protect the special features of the parish.