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Neighbourhood planning gives communities the power to develop a vision of their neighbourhood. It enables them to contribute to the development and growth of their area.

Neighbourhood planning provides powerful tools for local people, so they get the right types of development for their community. It also ensures that the desire of the neighbourhood is aligned with the overall needs and priorities of the wider local area.

Find out more about the neighbourhood planning system, including key stages and what to consider at GOV UK.

Preparing a neighbourhood plan

There are three types of neighbourhood plan 

  • Neighbourhood Development Plan – this sets out a shared vision and general planning policies for the future development and use of land in a local area 
  • Neighbourhood Development Order – this allows communities to grant planning permission for certain types of development that they want in their local area 
  • Community Right to Build Order – this allows communities to grant planning permission to build small-scale housing developments, community facilities or shops that are recognised as providing positive benefits by the community 

Neighbourhood plans and development orders can be prepared by parish/town councils and neighbourhood forums for their local area.  

To make sure these plans are truly led by the community, local people vote to approve them in a referendum. If successful, they will form part of the South Gloucestershire Development Plan.  

Communities are not required to prepare a neighbourhood plan. They are however seen as a good option for communities as they show willingness to get involved positively in managing and influencing growth of an area.  

Neighbourhood plans are treated with the same importance in considering planning applications as any other adopted plan, once they form part of the South Gloucestershire Development Plan. 

Formal process

A neighbourhood plan should be prepared by town and parish councils or by local community groups, not the council.  

The formal process for preparing a neighbourhood plan is set in the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations below 

Advice and support from the council

Our statement of community involvement sets out how we help communities prepare a neighbourhood plan.  

neighbourhood planning protocol sets out our commitment to providing advice and support. This includes 

  • process note which sets out the stages of the process and consultation timescales 
  • advice and assistance (includes meetings, methods of engaging and consulting with communities and consultation statements)
  • where resources allow, we offer wider proactive awareness raising of neighbourhood planning across South Gloucestershire including training for town and parish councils and communities in unparished areas 
  • an example service level agreement that can be used between the community preparing the plan and the council 
  • an example neighbourhoood plan steering group terms of reference 

External advice and support

Our website includes information on community profiles, flooding, archaeological data, listed buildings and conservation sites. You can also check Historic Environment Records on the Historic England website. 

The links below cover a range of support and resources that we recommend exploring in considering whether a neighbourhood plan is right for your community.  

Communities may also wish to engage through the Joint Spatial Plan and the new South Gloucestershire Local Plan, which is being prepared by the council and will help guide development in the district until 2036. 

Current neighbourhood plans

In accordance with The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended), the following communities have submitted an application to designate a Neighbourhood Area under Article 5 of the Regulations.

Pilning and Severn Beach Neighbourhood Plan

On 11 January 2021 and in accordance with Neighbourhood Plan 2016 Regulations, the following area which is consistent with the parish boundary, was formally designated as a Neighbourhood Area.

Thornbury Neighbourhood Plan 

Thornbury Town Council have submitted the Thornbury Neighbourhood Development Plan to South Gloucestershire Council.

A public consultation on this Neighbourhood Plan and supporting evidence will be coordinated by South Gloucestershire Council between 11 June 2021 and 23 July 2021.

The Thornbury Neighbourhood Development Plan submission documents can be viewed and commented on the consultation page.

Pucklechurch Neighbourhood Plan 

In accordance with the 2016 amendment, the proposed Neighbourhood Area boundary did not require consultation, as it was consistent with the parish boundary. The area was therefore formally designated as a Neighbourhood Area on 27 January 2017. 

Charfield Neighbourhood Plan Area 

The referendum for this plan took place on the 6 May 2021.

Following successful referendum, the Charfield Neighbourhood Plan now carries significant weight in the determination of planning application.

South Gloucestershire Council is currently undertaking work to also formally adopt the plan, when it will become ‘made’.

Previous stages

In accordance with regulation 6, the consultation on the proposed Neighbourhood Area was from 9 December 2015 to 13 January 2016 (5 weeks).

The decision to approve the designation was made at the council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee on 27 January 2016 and in accordance with Regulation 8, we have published a Neighbourhood Planning Decision Notice formally designating the Neighbourhood Area.

The Independent Examiner (IE) provided South Gloucestershire Council, the Charfield Neighbourhood Plan Group (CNPG) and Charfield Parish Council with the final Independent Examiner’s Report on 16 December 2020.

Having reviewed the IE’s report, South Gloucestershire Council in liaison with the CNPG make the following statement in response as required under paragraph 10 of Schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

South Gloucestershire Council is satisfied that the Charfield Neighbourhood Development Plan, subject to all recommended modifications as detailed in the IE’s Report meets the basic conditions.

As part of the Independent Examiner’s duties they have also considered the area for the referendum. The IE’ Report confirmed that no changes are necessary to the referendum area and as such the referendum area will include the whole parish of Charfield.

The examination webpage includes the Charfield Neighbourhood Development Plan document with the recommended modifications.

Further information is available on the Charfield Neighbourhood Plan website.

Oldbury on Severn Neighbourhood Plan 

The Oldbury-on-Severn Parish Council have submitted the Oldbury Neighbourhood Development Plan to South Gloucestershire Council.

A public consultation on this Neighbourhood Plan and supporting evidence will be coordinated by South Gloucestershire Council between 11 June 2021 and 23 July 2021.

The Oldbury Neighbourhood Development Plan submission documents can be viewed and commented on the consultation page.

In accordance with the 2016 amendment, the proposed Neighbourhood Area boundary did not require consultation, as it was consistent with the parish boundary. The area was therefore formally designated as a Neighbourhood Area on 27 October 2016. 

The South Gloucestershire Council Level 2 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for Oldbury on Severn (September 2017) report is available within the Evidence base for our Local Plan, see under ‘Flood Risk’. 

 

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