A Neighbourhood Development Plan is a framework developed by the community for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. It is about the use and development of land and 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 may 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. They can specify the design of buildings and protection of open space, development of schools, health, leisure and community facilities and infrastructureplans such as transport, walking and cycling provision and disabled access.
A Neighbourhood Development Plan could also promote more development than is set out in Stratford District Council’s Core Strategy. It 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 Development Plan will be part of the statutory planning decisions for our District. Its legal status gives Neighbourhood Plans far more weight than some other local documents, such as Parish Plans. A Neighbourhood Development Plan must comply with European and National legislation, as well as generally conforming to existing strategic local planning policy held by Stratford District Council. It should not promote less development than that already identified by Stratford District Council in the District’s development plan. The Neighbourhood Development Plan can however specify policies and guidance on how new development should be designed, orientated and located. Once the Plan has reached its final draft, it will be put before the Parish in a referendum.