Neighbourhood Planning

Neighbourhood Planning


Neighbourhood planning is a right for communities introduced through the Localism Act 2011. Communities can shape development in their area through the production of Neighbourhood Development Plans, Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders.
 
Neighbourhood Development Plans

A Neighbourhood Development Plan sets out the policies against which planning applications are assessed.  They will become part of the Statutory Development Plan for Knowsley, which means that policies and proposals contained within them will be used in the determination of planning applications, including appeals.  It is important to note that the policies produced cannot block development that is already part of the Knowsley Local Plan and which includes the Knowsley Local Plan Core Strategy, adopted in January 2016.  What they can do is shape and influence where that development will go and what it will look like.
 
Neighbourhood Development Orders

A Neighbourhood Development Order can grant planning permission either in full or in outline for specified developments in a Neighbourhood Area, subject to restrictions.  Once established there would be no need for anyone to apply to the Council for planning permission if it is for the type of development covered by the Order.
 
Community Right to Build Orders

A Community Right to Build Order is a type of Neighbourhood Development Order insofar as it grants planning permission for types of development that communities want to see in their area.  As well as housing, this included other amenities for the benefit of local people such as a community building or playground.
 
Who can undertake Neighbourhood Planning?
 
This depends on whether the area in which you live is parished. In parished areas of Knowsley, only the local Parish or Town Council can lead on Neighbourhood Planning for your community. In non-parished areas of the Borough, a community gathering known as a Neighbourhood Forum needs to be established to lead the process.
 
In either case, the qualifying community body (Parish/Town Council or prospective Neighbourhood Forum) needs to apply to Knowsley Council to have an area designated as a Neighbourhood Area.  This will then become the area where Neighbourhood Plans apply.
 
The Neighbourhood Planning process
 
The table below outlines, in general, the key stages in the preparation of Neighbourhood Development Plans, although communities can choose to use any or all of the above Neighbourhood Planning tools once a Neighbourhood Area has been designated.
 
N.B. The preparation of a Community Right to Build Order is a slightly different process in that it requires the formation of a constituted community group rather than a neighbourhood forum. Parish and Town Councils can also lead on Community Right to Build Orders.

 

Neighbourhood Planning Stages
Action Time Summary Responsibility
Apply for approval of Neighbourhood Area.
 
  Qualifying community body applies to Knowsley Council to designate a Neighbourhood Area.
 
Application forms available on the Knowsley Council website.
  • Parish/Town Council; or
 
  • Prospective Neighbourhood Forum.
Publication of Neighbourhood Area application
Publicising an area application.
(N.B. This stage does not apply in a case where a Parish/Town Council is the applicant and the area specified in the application consists of the whole of a parish/town council’s area).
6 weeks
 
Valid applications publicised, and comments invited for a minimum period of 6 weeks.
  • Knowsley Council.
Designation of Neighbourhood Area
Designating a Neighbourhood Area.
 
Parished areas:
 
N/A
 
(N.B. This is conditional upon the area specified in the application consisting of the whole of a parish council’s area).
Designation will be confirmed upon the receipt of a valid application - Knowsley Council is obliged to designate Neighbourhood Areas which relate to the whole boundary of a Parish or Town Council.
 
 
  • Knowsley Council.
In all other cases:
 
13 weeks
 
(N.B. This period will be extended to 20 weeks in a case where the area to which the application relates falls within the areas of two or more local planning authorities).
 
Decision notice issued by Knowsley Council no later than 13 weeks beginning the day after the application is first publicised.
Non-Parished Areas only
Apply for approval of Neighbourhood Forum.
 
  Community Group applies to Knowsley Council to become the Neighbourhood Forum for a designated Neighbourhood Area.
 
Application publicised, and comments invited for minimum period of 6 weeks.
  • Prospective Neighbourhood Forum.
Publicising a Forum application. 6 weeks Valid applications publicised, and comments invited for a minimum period of 6 weeks.
  • Knowsley Council
Designating a Neighbourhood Forum 13 weeks Decision notice issued by Knowsley Council no later than 13 weeks beginning the day after the application is first publicised.
  • Knowsley Council
Plan prepared by qualifying community body
Plan prepared by the Parish/Town Council or Neighbourhood Forum. In accordance with the individual timetable prepared by a qualifying community body. Community draws up plan with technical guidance and support from Knowsley Council. 
  • Parish/Town Council, or
 
  • Designated Neighbourhood Forum.
Draft Plan published
Draft Plan published.
Regulation 14 consultation.
6 weeks Formal community engagement on the emerging draft set of policies and proposals for a minimum period of 6 weeks.
  • Parish/Town Council, or
 
  • Designated Neighbourhood Forum.
Final Plan submitted
Final version of the Plan submitted to Knowsley Council.
 
  Knowsley Council to check the Plan for legal compliance and general conformity in readiness for final round of public participation.
  • Parish/Town Council, or
 
  • Designated Neighbourhood Forum.
Final Plan published
Submission Plan published.
Regulation 16 consultation
6 weeks Formal community engagement on the Plan proposed for submission to the Examiner for a minimum period of 6 weeks.
  • Knowsley Council
Examination
Plan submitted for independent examination.   Independent Examination undertaken by Chartered Town Planner, usually by written representation.
  • Knowsley Council
Referendum
Referendum
 
56 days following the publication of a Decision Statement in respect of the examination outcome. Referendum will be open to every person on the electoral roll within a designated Neighbourhood Area.
 
Plan will need to achieve a simple majority (51%) in favour of those who vote, in order to proceed to adoption.
  • Knowsley Council
Adoption
Adoption of Neighbourhood Plan. 8 weeks Knowsley Council will be obliged to adopt any Plan which achieves a positive result at referendum.
  • Knowsley Council

How to apply

 

To apply for a Neighbourhood Area designation or a Neighbourhood Forum designation, please complete the forms below and return to:

  • Email: localplan@knowsley.gov.uk
  • Post: Local Plan Team, Knowsley MBC, Yorkon Building, Archway Road, Huyton, Merseyside, L36 9FB

Designation of a Neighbourhood Area
 
The 'Neighbourhood Area' is the area to which a proposed Neighbourhood Development Plan or Neighbourhood Development Order will relate. Parish or Town Councils, and prospective Neighbourhood Forums must apply to Knowsley Council to designate a Neighbourhood Area.

 
Designation of a Neighbourhood Forum
 
Community groups intending to produce Neighbourhood Plans in non-parished areas must apply to Knowsley Council to become a Neighbourhood Forum.  This application should be made subsequent to an application to designate a Neighbourhood Area or at the same time, as the Forum cannot be designated first. 
 
The 2011 Act states that, to be considered acceptable, a Neighbourhood Forum must:

  • Be established for the express purpose of promoting or improving the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of an area;
  • Include a minimum of 21 individual members, each of whom lives in the Neighbourhood Area concerned, work there, or is an Elected Member; and
  • Have a written constitution.
 

Please note that the Council will be unable to approve applications that do not meet these conditions.   


Existing Neighbourhood Areas/Neighbourhood Forums

There are no designated Neighbourhood Areas or Neighbourhood Forums in Knowsley at present.

New proposed Neighbourhood Areas/Neighbourhood Forums

There are currently no applications to designate Neighbourhood Areas or Neighbourhood Forums in Knowsley.

Neighbourhood Planning Guidance

The Council has produced guidance to provide more information and advice in respect of the neighbourhood planning process. 


Detailed guidance on preparing a neighbourhood plan and general advice in respect of the current arrangements for claiming financial support through the Government's three year rolling programme  can be found on the My Community website. 

The following links may also be of use:

 
Advice and Support

The Council has a duty under the 2011 Act to offer technical support and guidance to the Parish and Town Councils or Neighbourhood Forums who are engaged in producing neighbourhood plans.

 The Council has drawn up a Charter of Service Provision, in order to ensure that consistent advice will be given to all qualifying community bodies and that they will be treated equally.  Qualifying community bodies are still encouraged to contact us at the earliest possible stage of the process with a view to discussing your plans and timetable.  The Charter of Service Provision is available here.
 
The Charter of Service Provision does not alter the fact that we are obliged to fund and organise several of the statutory stages in the neighbourhood plan process, namely:
 

  • The designation of the Neighbourhood Area;
  • The designation of the Neighbourhood Forum;
  • Undertaking necessary Environmental Appraisals;
  • The Independent Examination;
  • The Referendum; and
  • Adopting Neighbourhood Plans.


More Information

For further information about Neighbourhood Plans please contact a member of the Local Plan Team on 0151 443 2326 or email localplan@knowsley.gov.uk .

Alternatively, the Planning Advisory Service has produced answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) you may have about Neighbourhood Plans.