Our roadmap sets out the key stages in the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan.

You will see there is a significant amount of work to be done. If you think you could help, please email us at info@parishplan.uk. You can find details of volunteering opportunities here.

This page will be updated as timescales become clearer.  There are external factors which may affect our timetable which are outside of our control. One of the basic conditions that a Neighbourhood Plan must meet is conformity with the local planning authority’s Local Plan. We are developing our Neighbourhood Plan alongside Ashford Borough Council’s Local Plan 2030. The extension to the timetable for the Council’s Local Plan for the Borough has had consequences for our original timetable. The date of the independent examination and referendum is set by the local authority.

Key stages Summary of what is involved at each stage Target date
Step 1 Defining the neighbourhood
  • The Parish Council, as the qualifying body, submits an application to the Local Planning Authority (Ashford Borough Council) to designate a neighbourhood area.
  • Local Planning Authority publicises and consults on the area application (for a minimum of 4 weeks).
  • Local Planning Authority designates a neighbourhood area.
Step 2 Preparation of a draft Neighbourhood Plan
  • Collect ideas and prepare a draft Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Gather baseline information and evidence to support Plan.
  • Engage and consult those living and working in the neighbourhood area (survey questionnaire).
  • Talk to local land owners and the developers.
  • Identify and assess options.
  • Determine whether a Neighbourhood Plan is likely to have significant environmental effect.
  • Start to prepare key documents e.g. basic conditions statement.
Started September 2015

Survey held April 2016

Feedback events July 2016

Site assessments completed by mid-2017

Pause while Ashford Borough Council held a second consultation on their Local Plan, with which our Neighbourhood Plan must conform
Step 3 Pre-submission publicity and 6 week public consultation on the draft Neighbourhood Plan
  • Publicise the draft (Regulation 14) Neighbourhood Plan to parish residents and invite representations (minimum 6 weeks consultation).
  • Consult statutory bodies and those with an interest in or affected by the proposals, e.g. local landowners, adjoining parish councils.
  • Send a copy of the draft plan to the Local Planning Authority.
  • Where European obligations apply, ensure compliance with relevant publicity and consultation requirements.
  • Consider consultation responses and amend plan if appropriate.
  • Prepare consultation statement and other proposal documents.
Early 2019

Formal application for SEA and HRA screening report submitted, October 2018. Report received December 2018.

Step 4 Submission of draft Neighbourhood Plan to the Local Planning Authority
  • Submit the draft (Regulation 15) Neighbourhood Plan to the Local Planning Authority.
  • Local Planning Authority checks that submitted draft Plan complies with all relevant legislation.
  • If the Local Planning Authority finds that the Plan meets the legal requirements it:
    • publicises the proposal for minimum 6 weeks and invites representations;
    • notifies consultation bodies referred to in the consultation statement; and
    • appoints an Independent Examiner.
Spring 2019
Step 5 Independent examination
  • Local Planning Authority sends draft Neighbourhood Plan and representation to the Independent Examiner.
  • Independent Examiner undertakes examination to ensure that it meets the right standards and requirements.
  • Independent Examiner issues a report to the Local Planning Authority and Parish Council.
  • Local Planning Authority publishes the Independent Examiner’s report.
  • Local Planning Authority considers Independent Examiner’s report and reaches own view.
  • Local Planning Authority takes the decision on whether to send the Neighbourhood Plan to Referendum.
Summer 2019
Step 6 & 7 Referendum and making the Neighbourhood Plan (bringing it into force)
  • Local Authority publishes information statement.
  • Local Authority publishes Notice of Referendum (minimum of 28 days publicity before polling takes place).
  • Polling takes place in neighbourhood area.
  • Results declared.
  • Subject to results, Local Planning Authority considers plan in relation to EU obligations and Convention rights
  • If the Neighbourhood Plan is compatible with EU obligations and does not breach Convention rights, Local Planning Authority makes the Plan (bringing it into force).
Autumn 2019

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