What is a Neighbourhood Plan

A Neighbourhood Plan is a framework developed by a community for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. It is about the use and development of land. It may contain a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area, providing new facilities, or allocating key sites for specific kinds of development. It could also deal with a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues (such as housing, employment, heritage and transport) or it may focus on one or two issues only. Neighbourhood Plans can specify the design of buildings and protection of open space, development of schools, health, leisure and community facilities and infrastructure plans such as transport, walking and cycling provision and disabled access.

A Neighbourhood Plan could also include policies regarding design standards which take precedence over existing policies in the Local Plan for the neighbourhood – provided the NP policies do not conflict with the strategic policies in the Core Strategy. It can also include the protection and creation of open space, nature reserves, allotments, sports pitches, play areas, parks and garden and tree planting as well as the protection of important buildings and historic assets and promotion of renewable energy projects. This is for the community to decide.

A successful Neighbourhood Plan will be part of the statutory planning decisions for our Parish. Its legal status gives Neighbourhood Plans far more weight than some other local documents, such as Parish Plans. A Neighbourhood Plan must comply with European and National legislation, as well as generally conforming to existing strategic local planning policy. The Neighbourhood Plan can however specify policies and guidance on how new development should be designed, orientated and located.

Current status of the Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan

The Parish Council approved the Neighbourhood Plan at 7th January 2020 meeting. The document, which is lengthy, contains detailed evidence and policy, primarily for consideration by CBC Planners and Government Inspectors. The Neighbourhood Plan will now move to a REG14 public examination and formal examination in public with a Planning Inspector. This Neighbourhood Plan has been in preparation for many years and progressed in unison with the Joint Core Strategy and the Cheltenham Local Plan, which was adopted in July 2020.

As part of our Public Consultation, the Parish Council will circulate a summary document to residents, together with a questionnaire to capture views. We will do this as soon as we can but that won't be until some of the current COVID restrictions are lifted. We will keep the website updated.