What is neighbourhood planning?

Neighbourhood planning is a right for communities to shape the way their local area is developed through the use of Neighbourhood Development Plans.

Introduced through the Localism Act 2011, Neighbourhood Development Plans become part of the wider Local Plan and are used to determine the outcome of planning applications.

Neighbourhood Plans allow communities to have more influence and control over their local area to ensure they get the right type of development for their neighbourhood. However they cannot influence or block development set out previously by the Local Plan.

Neighbourhood Plans are led and produced by an authorised local community organisation such as a parish or town council, or where one does not exist a Neighbourhood Forum may be designated.

A Neighbourhood Plan can:

  • Identify a vision for the area and set objectives for the next 5 to 20 years
  • Provide detailed planning policies setting out for example, where new development should be located and how it should be designed
  • Allocate sites for different types of development such as housing, retail and office space and designate areas of community greenspace
  • Identify key areas for improvement and set out proposals for them

Neighbourhood Plans will be subject to consultation, examination and a referendum, and once adopted form a part of the statutory development plan for Wigan.

An adopted Neighbourhood Plan carries significant weight in determining development proposals for the local area, as a result, there are a number of legal requirements that the plan must meet.

A Neighbourhood Plan must:

  • Have appropriate regard to national planning policy
  • Be in general conformity to the strategic policies in the Wigan Local Plan and Greater Manchester Spatial Framework
  • Contribute to the achievement of sustainable development
  • Be compatible with environmental obligations, as incorporated in UK law
  • Be compatible with human rights requirements.

Neighbourhood planning activity in Wigan Borough

There are currently two designated Neighbourhood Forums in the borough:

Setting up a Neighbourhood Plan

If you are interested in creating a Neighbourhood Plan for your area, or would like more information, please contact Neighbourhood Planning. We will be happy to meet with you and talk through what is involved.

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