The Parish Council is keen to produce a Neighbourhood Plan for Dennington to help them make decisions about issues such as housing and the needs of the community.
East Suffolk Council has proposed a Final Draft Local Plan that should be adopted in late December 2019 (subject to any amendments required by the Planning Inspectorate’s independent review).
The Local Plan affects all communities within East Suffolk, and may propose the development of new housing within Dennington.
Neighbourhood planning is not a legal requirement but a right which communities can choose to use. Other routes can be used to inform decisions on development issues: For example, the Parish Council has engaged with East Suffolk Council during the Draft Local Plan consultation to incorporate proposals for our neighbourhood into the Local Plan.
The Parish Council can also support the establishment of a sub-committee to appoint local people (who need not be parish councillors) in order to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan.
What are the benefits of a Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood planning enables communities to play a much stronger role in shaping the areas in which they live and work and in supporting new development proposals. This is because the Neighbourhood Plan sits alongside the Local Plan - Decisions on planning applications will be made using both the Local Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan.
Communities that have a valid Neighbourhood Plan will benefit from 25% of the revenues from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) arising from any development that takes place in their area (up to a maximum of approximately £25,000). Communities without a plan can receive up to 15%. In the case of Dennington, this difference equates to approximately £5,000 to £10,000
The Neighbourhood Plan also provides an evidence base of infrastructure needs, to help prioritize how the CIL is spent.
What does this involve?
Preparing a Neighbourhood Plan requires significant commitment and effort from the sub-committee and the local community over a considerable period.
There are six stages to producing a Neighbourhood Plan - A range of evidence needs to be collected; options developed, assessed and shortlisted; a draft plan is then produced followed by public consultation, submission to East Suffolk Council; then independent examination and finally a local referendum as to whether to adopt the final draft plan.
Communities typically need 2 years to 4 years to complete these six mandatory stages, and the costs associated with developing the Neighbourhood Plan could exceed the value of the additional CIL benefit gained by having a plan.
How do I get involved?
If you have a view as to whether we should develop a Neighbourhood Plan, or wish to get involved and form a sub-committee, or have any suggestions as to how any future CIL revenue should be used to improve the village, please contact the Parish Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the end of January 2020. The Parish Council will then discuss the responses received and then decide whether to form a sub-committee.
Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/neighbourhood-planning--2