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Frequently Asked Questions

    1. A neighbourhood plan is a framework developed by the community for guiding the future development and growth of an area.
    2. Intended to give communities more of a say in the development of their local area
    3. A Neighbourhood Plan is about
      • use of land
      • where new homes, shops, offices etc may be built
      • what new buildings should look like and the quality standards
      • protecting existing green spaces
      • being realistic
      • guiding and shaping development
    4. It must be positive and constructive – it is about what can be done
    5. A Neighbourhood Plan must
      • Be appropriate having regard to national policy
      • Contribute to the achievement of sustainable development
      • Be in general conformity with the strategic policies in the development plan for the local area
      • Compatible with human rights requirements
      • Compatible with EU requirements
    6. A Neighbourhood Plan may
      • Provide more detail on something contained in the Local Plan
      • Have new ideas and suggestions (provided that they complement the Local Plan)
    A Neighbourhood Plan Is Not
    • A duplicate of the Local Plan
    • A history book
    • A guide to the local area
    • A reference source about the area
    • About undermining the delivery of development
  • A neighbourhood plan must be taken into account when planning applications are considered
  • The Community Plan is about all manner of things and it will provide useful evidence for a Neighbourhood Plan but it does not have any legal status.
  • Neighbourhood Planning was introduced in 2012 with the intention of giving  communities more of a say in the development of their local area
    1. Community engagement from the start of the process i.e. whether or not developing a neighbourhood plan is a good idea
    2. Are developed by local people can genuinely reflect local wants and needs
    3. An approved Neighbourhood Plan becomes part of the statutory development plan for the area – carries weight as part of making decisions on planning application
    4. Can assist liaison and dialogue between organisations
    5. Influence future work and negotiations e.g. highways, community facilities, upgrading paths and open spaces
    6. Increased Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) contributions to provide better local facilities and meet needs
  • Yes – all sorts of places have started Neighbourhood Plans – local examples include Martock, Cheddar, South Petherton, Wincanton, Queen Camel
  • Initial estimates are approx £20,000
    1. Grants are available to help with the cost.
    2. South Somerset District Council are required to fund the cost of the independent assessment and the referendum.
  • Consultation costs, getting professional planning advice, staff time
  • That will depend on the scope of the plan – experience in other places suggests between 18 months and 5 years.
  • Example milestones
    • Agreeing that a neighbourhood plan is a good idea
    • Forming the Development Group
    • Consulting for ideas on the Neighbourhood Plan content
    • Researching and collecting evidence
    • Draft neighbourhood plan prepared
    • Consulting on the draft plan
    • Independent assessment by the Planning Inspectorate
    • Referendum
  • Example objectives are
    • Protect the recreation area in the heart of Ilminster
    • Retain a vibrant town centre
    • Promotes Ilminster as a place for new and expanding businesses to succeed and grow
    • Provide homes that have suitable accommodation for the predicted population
  • Examples of evidence could be
    • Census
    • Transport studies
    • Housing needs survey
    • Records of listed buildings
    • Lists of Tree Preservation Orders
    • The existing community plan
    • Building vacancy audit
  • At least 50% of people voting are required to have vote “yes” in a referendum in order to bring the Neighbourhood Plan into force  – it is a simple yes / no question
    1. It is hoped to form a group of volunteers with an independent Chair
    2. The group should, to a large extent, be representative of the people of Ilminster · young · elderly · people with families, single people · people who live in Ilminster – need a spread from throughout the town · gender balance · equality & diversity – need people from all types of minority communities · tenants & home owners · car owners and users of public transport · people who work and/or have businesses in Ilminster
    3. The Neighbourhood Plan will be a compromise – a consensus; it will not be possible to include every issue suggested during public consultation. The Steering Group will develop the plan and make recommendations but the Town Council will have to agree the final documents for consultation and presentation for assessment
  • The Town Council is ultimately the body
    • responsible for consulting on the Neighbourhood Plan and
    • responsible for submitting the Neighbourhood Plan for independent examination.
  • Let the Town Council office have your name and contact details
  • People with all sorts of skills will be needed – some for the duration of the project others at specific times; examples are
    • Admin skills
    • Minute / note taking
    • Leadership
    • Persuasion
    • Project management
    • Talking and listening to people
    • Negotiation
    • Team working
    • Analysing information
    • Researching
    It is about people working together and compromise
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    Ilminster Town Council