Wiltshire Council has the third highest number of ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plans in the country – as a national milestone of 1,000 made local plans has been passed.
Neighbourhood Plans give communities direct power to develop and shape the development and growth of their local area, allowing local people to choose where they want new homes, shops and other developments to be built. This allows people to plan for developments that meet their own community’s needs.
As the local planning authority, Wiltshire Council has 31 ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plans. It has been able to achieve this as the council’s Core Strategy provides strategic policies that help to make it easy to shape Neighbourhood Plans and other planning documents.
Cllr Toby Sturgis, Cabinet Member for Planning, says: “This is a great national milestone, and I’m delighted that Wiltshire Council is at the forefront of making Neighbourhood Plans.
“This achievement illustrates the hard work of our officers, who have created the right environment for Neighbourhood Plans to flourish and made it easier for communities to shape the future of developments in their area.
“Communities are key to shaping the development and growth of their local area, and neighbourhood plans are a vital part of this.
“We encourage all local residents to have their say on the future of their community.”
Wiltshire Council continues to offer support and guidance to town and parish councils with neighbourhood planning despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation. It is only at the referendum stage of the Neighbourhood Plan process that government has made any firm decision to stop the process.
There are currently five Neighbourhood Plans – Lydiard Millicent NP, North Bradley NP, Market Lavington NP, Seagry Parish NP and Tockenham NP – awaiting a referendum, and these have recently been postponed. However, these Neighbourhood Plans can still be given significant weight in decision making on planning applications in their area, despite the referendums not yet having taken place.
To find out more about Neighbourhood Planning in Wiltshire, please see: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/planning-neighbourhood