The Localism Act (2011)
The Act changes the powers of local government in England. The Act sets out a series of devolution measures with the potential to achieve a substantial and lasting shift in power away from central government and towards local people. They include:
- new freedoms and flexibilities for local government;
- new rights and powers for communities and individuals;
- reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective; and
- reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally.
Community-led planning lies at the heart of rural communities; whether it’s a Parish Plan, Community or Village Design Statement or a Neighbourhood Plan. Within the new powers created by the Localsim Act is the concept of a Neighbourhood Plan. Such a Plan must be supportive of development and cannot contradict existing national or local planning policies.
In accordance with the new Regulations, the preparation of a local Neighbourhood Plan should involve residents, businesses and other organisations in the preparatory stages for their local Neighbourhood Plan.
When a Neighbourhood Plan has been approved as meeting national requirements and is endorsed by a local referendum, the policies within the Neighbourhood Plan become part of the statutory development plan. The Local Planning Authority will then be required to give consideration to them when planning applications are determined.