Neighbourhood planning—independent examination and referendum
Neighbourhood planning—independent examination and referendum

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Neighbourhood planning—independent examination and referendum
  • Context
  • Independent examination
  • General conformity with strategic policies of local plan
  • Examiner's report
  • Referendum
  • The referendum question
  • Publicity
  • Expenses limits
  • Voting
  • More...

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak (see: Neighbourhood planning—independent examination and referendum — Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on neighbourhood planning). For further updates on key developments and related practical guidance on the implications for lawyers, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Planning and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit.

Context

The Localism Act 2011 introduced the concept of neighbourhood planning, which allows communities to shape the development and growth of a local area. As part of the neighbourhood planning process, an independent examination and referendum are required for the completion of:

  1. neighbourhood development plans (NDPs), which allow communities to set out planning policies for the development and use of land in the neighbourhood. NDPs form part of the statutory development plan

  2. neighbourhood development orders (NDOs), which grant planning permission in the area, without the need for planning applications

  3. community right to build orders, a type of NDO, which allow certain community organisations to bring forward smaller-scale development on a specific site, without the need for planning permission

The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (the 2012 Regulations) and Schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) set out the procedure for the independent examination and referendum for NDPs and NDOs.

See Practice Notes: Introduction to neighbourhood planning and Preparing a neighbourhood development plan.

Independent examination

The local planning authority (LPA)

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