All Saints Church Copthorne
Copthorne pond

What?

On this page you will find information on what a Neighbourhood Plan is and how we propose to create it.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Prior to the Localism Act, decisions on planning were effectively made at District or County Council level. Parish Councils and community organisations were reduced to little more than pressure groups. Planning policy was set remotely from those that were most immediately affected by development. Planning decisions had to be taken in accordance with the local development plan, but the majority of electors had no idea about its contents, how it was produced or how to influence decisions.

Under the Localism Bill, the development plan, which lays down local planning policy, will be produced for the benefit of the neighbourhood, by members of the community that it will affect. This radically new form of development plan, which can deal directly with community concerns and aspirations, is called the Neighbourhood Plan.

Under the Neighbourhood Plan communities will be able to:

  • choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built
  • have their say on what those new buildings should look like and any associated infrastructure required as part of any development
  • grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead

Neighbourhood planning is optional, not compulsory, but without a plan our community will not have a voice in its future development.

What's the difference between a Neighbourhood Plan and a Community plan?

Neighbourhood plans relate only to the use and development of land in their area. Detailing such issues as alignment with strategic District policies etc. As such it can be a dry document lacking in some of the context which has driven it.

Community plans can cover all things important to a community such as employment needs, infrastructure etc. As such it can add context to a Neighbourhood Plan and future interpretation of that plan.

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