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What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Plan:

  • is a community led framework for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. It is about the use and development of land and may contain a vision, aims, and planning policies.
  • enables those who know and care about their community to plan for its future development. It is not about stopping growth but it is about ensuring development is planned strategically to meet the needs of the community. It considers homes, jobs, and services whilst looking to protect and enhance the best of the town and its environment.
  • brings together the views of local people and represents them to a wide range of organizations that set policies and deliver services to rural areas.

The Market Bosworth Neighbourhood Plan serves this purpose for the town and can be summarized as encompassing the following:

  • it is a document which sets out what people value in this community and what they would like to change
  • is a process which has involved the wider community and has its own value distinct for the document itself, and
  • it is an action plan for projects to achieve the aspirations of local people.

It also includes proposals for:

  • improving the area
  • improvising existing facilities and creating new facilities
  • allocating specific sites for specific kinds of development
  • a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues (such as housing, employment, heritage and transport)

The Market Bosworth Neighbourhood Plan considers the following areas:

  • Transport: car parking, roads, road signage ‘pollution’ and the connectivity of the town with surrounding villages and beyond
  • Housing: needs of the local population, especially first time buyers and those seeking to downsize
  • Business: infrastructure, support services and expansion opportunities.
  • Tourism: encourage more weekend visits to the town, Bosworth Water Trust, the Country Park, railway and canal.
  • Infrastructure: meeting the changing demands for services (including high speed broadband and mobile phone reception [4G and 5G]), both commercial and social, for the local population.
  • Countryside: protecting the green environment, especially the open areas, panoramic views and countryside surrounding the settlement area.

The Planning Framework

Neighbourhood Planning was introduced through the Localism Act 2011 and gives communities the power to get the right type of development appropriate for their community. The planning system helps decide what is built, where and when. In theory, planning was meant to allow communities to have a say in what happens on their doorstep. In practice, this hasn’t happened. The government set out to change this by giving back the power to those who live and work in an area – allowing them to make the decisions. The Neighbourhood Plan is part of the statutory development plan for the area. This statutory status gives Neighbourhood Plans far more weight than some other local documents such as parish plans, community plans and village design statements.

Although the Government’s intention is for local people to decide what goes on in their towns, the Localism Act sets out some important laws. One of these is that all Neighbourhood Plans must be in line with higher level planning policy. That is, Neighbourhood Plans must be in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (otherwise known as the NPPF) and local policy, in particular Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council’s Core Strategy.

The NPPF gives the following guidance about the scope of Neighbourhood Plans: “Outside these strategic elements (in the Core Strategy), neighbourhood plans will be able to shape and direct sustainable development in their area”. The Plan also takes into account especially Section 8 of the NPPF which addresses the planning objectives of “Healthy Communities”. A theme is the creation, enhancement and protection of a “network of vibrant urban villages … (with) a thriving mix of local amenities and sustainable uses”. Hence the fundamental aim of the Plan is to promote a sustainable and healthy community.

You can read further about Neighbourhood Planning by following the links below:

What is Neighbourhood Planning?
Giving communities more power www.gov.uk
Locality Neighbourhood Planning funding and support