Writing the plan
Q. What is the role of the local authority?
Local authorities have a statutory duty to support and advise organisations which want to do neighbourhood planning.
They are also required to fund the referendum process and the costs of running the examination and appointing and funding the independent examiner for an examination.
Q. Will there be a Neighbourhood Plan template from the government or from the council?
No. That would defeat the purpose of it being a plan that addressed the specific needs of a neighbourhood.
There will be ideas for what it could contain, but the actual contents, format and drafting will be up to the neighbourhood itself. We can learn from areas that are further advanced with plan-making. There are also a number of help sites on the internet, such as:
Planning Aid (England)
National Association of Local Councils with the Campaign to Protect Rural England
Q. Will parishes be given whatever statutory guidance exists on writing plans?
Yes. The council will advise of legislative issues and requirements.
Q. How long are Neighbourhood Plans valid?
They are likely to be valid for 10 years but can be refreshed after 5 years if required.
Q. Who should be on the steering group?
The initial steering group was solicited from local organisations and interested residents.
Naturally, it is expected to grow and change as the plan develops and issues are identified.
It will need to identify and bring people with specific skills and interests into the Group.
Q. How do the Steering Group gather the right evidence to help people make decisions?
We talk, chivvy and research then ask for yet more comment.