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Neighbourhood Plans

Current live consultations - Salehurst and Robertsbridge Neighbourhood Plan

Rother District Council is currently carrying out formal public consultation on the submitted Salehurst and Robertsbridge Neighbourhood Plan. The consultation runs from 9am, Friday 10 February until 4.30pm, Friday 24 March 2017.

Details of the Plan and how to make representations can be found on the Salehurst and Robertsbridge Neighbourhood Plan  page.

As the Salehurst and Robertsbridge Neighbourhood Plan has reached the 'submission' stage, it is the role of Rother District Council (as the local planning authority) to publicise the Neighbourhood Plan.

Note: This box only highlights Neighbourhood Plan consultations overseen by Rother District Council. Public consultations at earlier stages of the consultation process, including 'calls for sites', will be overseen by the relevant Neighbourhood Plan authority (i.e. the Parish or Town Council). Please refer to the relevant web-sites (linked below) for further details.

Overview of Neighbourhood Planning

The Localism Act (2011) introduced several new rights and powers to allow local communities to shape new development, including the provision to prepare a 'Neighbourhood Plan' for their area. A neighbourhood plan can set out policies for the location of houses, shops, and offices, or set design standards for new development.

In "parished" areas, Neighbourhood Plans can only be undertaken by the relevant Town or Parish Council. Elsewhere, they may be prepared by a duly constituted 'neighbourhood forum'.

Preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan is optional; it is effectively an alternative to a Parish or Town Council working in partnership with the District Council - see Site Allocations page.

Responsibility for preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan rests with the relevant Town/Parish Council (or combination of Town/Parish Councils if the area straddles boundaries). At the same time, the District Council will provide advice and assistance.

Like Local Plans, Neighbourhood Plans are statutory plans, the process for which is legally prescribed, and, when made, form part of the formally adopted 'development plan'. All Neighbourhood Plans must be in general conformity with the strategic policies for an area (which is generally taken to be a Council's Core Strategy or equivalent Local Plan) as well as the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and European Legislation.

Process, guidance and support

Guidance on the process is available on the Planning Portal. As with a Local Plan, a Neighbourhood Plan will be subject to an independent Examination. However, it additionally requires a local referendum to be held to ensure that the community has the final say on whether the plan comes into force or not.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has prepared a number of useful guides and you can also find an overview on the Planning Practice Guidance website. Further guidance can be found on the Planning Advisory Service website.

The legal context for preparation of neighbourhood plans is provided by the Localism Act and the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations.

Along with support of the District Council, communities can also seek assistance through a new two year Government support programme provided by a consortium led by Locality and which also includes Planning Aid England (a service run by The Royal Town Planning Institute).  As part of this programme, from April 2013, Town and Parish Councils, and neighbourhood forums, will be able to bid for up to £7,000 each to contribute to the costs of preparing their proposal.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

In certain circumstances, a Neighbourhood Plan may require a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) under EU regulations. Examples of where SEA may be required for Neighbourhood Plans, include:

  • Where a neighbourhood plan allocates sites for development
     
  • Where the neighbourhood area contains sensitive natural or heritage assets that may be affected by the proposals in the plan
     
  • Where the neighbourhood plan is likely to have significant environmental effects that have not already been considered and dealt with through a sustainability appraisal of the Local Plan

Draft neighbourhood plan proposals should be assessed to determine whether the plan is likely to have significant environmental effects and this process is commonly referred to as a "screening" assessment. The requirements are set out in regulation 9 of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004.

A Neighbourhood Planning authority should request a screening assessment as soon as sufficient information on its potential environmental effects are known. Rother District Council has provided a form - pdf icon Neighbourhood Plan SEA Screening Request Form [233kb] -  that should usefully accompany applications for a screening opinion. Rother District Council (as the responsible authority) will undertake the screening assessment, consulting with the statutory environmental bodies (Natural England, Environment Agency, Historic England).

If likely significant environmental effects are identified, an SEA must be prepared. One of the basic conditions that will be tested by an independent examiner is whether the making of the neighbourhood plan is compatible with European Union obligations (including under the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive).

In the event of a SEA being required, Rother District Council (as the responsible authority) will also advise, on a case by case basis, which 'objectives' it considers appropriate to 'screen in' based on the circumstances of the Neighbourhood Plan and it's area in question.  These  objectives will be selected from the list of 16 contained within the Rother DC DASA Scoping Report.

Where it is determined that a SEA must be carried out, work on this should start at the earliest opportunity. This is so that the processes for gathering evidence for the environmental report and for producing the draft neighbourhood plan can be integrated, and to allow the assessment process to inform the choices being made in the plan.

Designation of Neighbourhood Areas:

The first stage in the neighbourhood planning process is an application to designate the area that a Town or Parish Council wishes to prepare a plan for. The District Council must invite comments, over a period of at least 6 weeks, on whether it would be appropriate to designate the area as Neighbourhood Area, and to conclude on its appropriateness.

Designated Neighbourhood Areas

Sedlescombe Parish was designated by the District Council by resolution CB13/12 on 1 July 2013. The area, being that of the Sedlescombe Parish. For further details, visit the Sedlescombe Parish Council website. Sedlescombe Parish Council submitted a revised draft version of its Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan to the Council in September 2016. Rother District Council formally consulted on the submitted plan, in accordance with Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended), for 8 weeks from 28 November 2016 to 23 January 2017. You can view and download a copy of the submission version Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan, its associated documents, including the Strategic Environmental Assessment. Details of the Examination can be found on the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan page.

Rye Civil Parish was designated by the District Council by resolution CB13/50 on 4 November 2013. The area, being that of the Rye Parish boundary. Further details can be viewed at Rye's Neighbourhood Plan website.

Salehurst and Robertsbridge Parish was designated by the District Council by CB14/80 on 13 April 2015. The area, being that of the pdf icon Salehurst and Robertsbridge Parish [462kb]. For further details, visit the Salehurst and Robertsbridge Parish Council website. The Parish Council submitted its Neighbourhood Plan to the Council in December 2016. Rother District Council is formally consulting on the submitted plan, in accordance with Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended), for 6 weeks from 10 February 2017 to 24 March 2017. You can view and download a copy of the submission version Salehurst and Robertsbridge Neighbourhood Plan , its associated documents, including the Strategic Environmental Assessment, and a representation form.

Ticehurst Civil Parish was designated by the District Council in accordance with delegated authority granted under resolution CB14/80 on 2 November 2015. The area, being that of the Ticehurst Civil Parish boundary. Further details can be found on the Ticehurst Parish Council website.

Battle Civil Parish was designated by the District Council by resolution CB14/80 on the 13 April 2015. The area, being that of the Battle Parish boundary. Further details can be found on Battle Town Council's website.

Fairlight Civil Parish was designated by the District Council in accordance with delegated authority granted under resolution CB14/80 on the 16 November 2015. The area, being that of the Fairlight Civil Parish boundary. Further details can be found on the Fairlight Parish Council website.

Crowhurst Civil Parish was designated by the District Council by resolution CB14/80 on 8 December 2015. The area, being that of the Crowhurst Parish boundary. Further details can be found on Crowhurst Council's website.

Burwash Civil Parish was designated by the District Council in accordance with delegated authority granted under by resolution CB14/80 on 9 June 2016. The area, being that of the Burwash Parish boundary. Further details can be found on Burwash Council's website.

Etchingham Civil Parish was designated by the District Council in accordance with delegated authority granted under by resolution CB14/80 on 15 July 2016. The area, being that of the Etchingham Parish boundary. Further details can be found on Etchingham Council's website.

 

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