What is Neighbourhood Planning?

Neighbourhood planning is a powerful tool that empowers local communities and gives them the opportunity to influence planning and development in their local area.  Introduced by the Localism Act 2011, a neighbourhood plan is a document that sets out planning policies for land use and development for a specified neighbourhood area.  Neighbourhood planning enables communities to:

  • Develop a shared vision for the community
  • Plan where new development such as homes, shops, leisure facilities, offices and community buildings should be built
  • Influence what new development should look like
  • Identify and safeguard land such as green spaces
  • Explore issues relating to transport, housing, air quality, sustainability and employment
  • Have a say on what infrastructure should be provided

Once adopted at referendum, any planning applications that fall within the neighbourhood plan area will be assessed against the relevant policies contained within the neighbourhood plan.

For more information download the Wallingford Neighbourhood Plan FAQs.

How is the plan delivered?

Stage 1 – Get started

The process is initiated by qualifying body (Wallingford Town Council) who establish a steering group. The ‘Neighbourhood Area’ is designated, in partnership with South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC).

Stage 2 – Identify the issues

To get an idea of what the plan can or should achieve the local community is consulted and initial research undertaken to identify key issues.

Stage 3 – Develop a vision and objectives

The vision and objectives are based on the evidence and expressed as a series of statements. They will provide the framework to develop the plan policies and proposals.

Stage 4 – Generate Options

Final vision and objectives are agreed. Policies are developed by Working Groups and consulted on.

Stage 5 – Draft the plan

Develop a draft plan followed by a six week consultation

Stage 6 – Consultation and submission

Finalise the plan and submit to SODC. A further 6 week consultation will take place.

Stage 7 – Independent examination

Examination. An independent examiner will review the plan and produce a report.

Stage 8 – Referendum and adoption

Referendum. If successful at examination a referendum will be held. If more than 50% of the voting electorate vote in favour the plan is adopted and becomes part of SODC’s local plan.