Under new regulations introduced through the Localism Act (2011), community groups can create a statutory Development Plan Document for a defined community area known as a Neighbourhood Plan. The content of a Development Plan can range from generalised policies regarding the future growth and/or protection of an area, to identifying specific sites for development or otherwise. Following examination and local referendum a Neighbourhood Plan will be adopted by the Local Planning Authority as part of the wider Development Plan system.
While the County Council has no statutory responsibility in respect of Neighbourhood Plans (the four District Councils in Buckinghamshire retain oversight and ‘make’ any plans that come forward), their relevance to the County Council varies significantly depending on the proposals put forward for a local area. For this reason we have published a protocol that contains useful information for groups beginning the Neighbourhood Planning process and clarifies the standard position of the County Council.
The agreed Protocol and accompanying Decision Report is now available for download.
Amongst our other functions we also assist the District Councils in infrastructure planning, something that requires close joint-working with a variety of key stakeholders e.g. The District Councils are responsible for producing Community Infrastructure Levy documents. The County Council also collects contributions as part of S106 agreements where applicable for developments.