Purpose of Neighbourhood Plans and their Context
In 2011, an important piece of legislation was put in place called the Localism Act and this gave local people new rights to have a say in the development of their villages, towns and parishes.
Neighbourhood Plans are documents that are written by the community to set out the vision for an area and the planning policies for the use and development of land within that area. The policies will be used to determine future planning applications in Tiverton.
In Tiverton, these policies will support the strategic policies contained in the Mid-Devon Local Plan.
Neighbourhood Plans can cover a variety of topics such as where new housing should be built and what sort of housing it should be, whether there are any local facilities, such as playgrounds or sports centres that are needed and how existing and new businesses can be supported. The Neighbourhood Plan can also be used to protect and safeguard what is special about an area. For example, if there are areas of green space that are felt to be important for recreation or wildlife, for instance, we can protect these from development in the Plan. Equally, if there are examples of important heritage assets that are not currently listed, we can protect these from development that might otherwise mean they are lost forever. An example of a lack of listing is the Town Leat.
The Tiverton Neighbourhood Plan will not just stand alone. It has to conform to the National Planning Policy Framework, which sets out broad, high-level strategic planning policies at the country-wide level.
In addition, once ‘made’, it will form part of the Tiverton Development Plan. This is a suite of documents including the Mid-Devon Local Plan and the emerging Greater Exeter Plan as well as other planning documents. Collectively, they are used to determine any planning applications that come into the area.
At present, Mid-Devon is in the middle of updating its Local Plan. Therefore, the Tiverton Neighbourhood Plan will need to conform not only to the existing document, but also bear in mind the emerging policies. You can find out more about that process here.
A further piece of work that is relevant to our Neighbourhood Plan is the ongoing Tiverton Town Centre Masterplan. We do not want to duplicate this work, but we will consider if there is anything that we can include in our Plan that will help to deliver the vision for the town centre.
For more information about Neighbourhood Planning, including links to other plans, we would recommend having a look at the Locality website. This is the government funded organisation that has responsibility for supporting neighbourhood plans across the country.