What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood Plans (NP) were introduced in 2011, they empower communities to shape the development and growth of a local area. An NP is a document that sets out planning policies for our area and can:
Protect local green spaces;
Encourage better designed places;
Bring forward housing that genuinely meets local needs.
It’s written by the local community and helps get the right types of development, in the right place.
Once a Neighbourhood Plan is 'made' (or adopted) it has the same weight and strength as the Wiltshire Local Plan.
Why are we reviewing the Plan?
The existing Neighbourhood plan is current until 2026, so a new one needs to be published before then to ensure the community can still influence planning decisions. SInce we made our last plan there has been a lot of learning about how to get the most out of having one and so the new one will be stronger and be even more effective.
How long will the review take?
The work started in earnest in January 2022 and we currently expect it to take until the summer of 2024 to get the revised one 'made' (adopted).
Who's involved in the Plan review?
There’s a group of about 15 local people from different walks of life and with different experiences and skill sets involved in leading the plan review and being members of the Steering Group. Some of the group are local councillors who also have the role of updating Calne Town Council and Calne Without Parish Council.
The two councils will need to recommend the plan to Wiltshire Council who have been engaged throughout the process.
As well as the Steering Group, there have been many opportunities for local people to give their views on a range of subjects and the feedback is incorporated into the plan.
The plan review is supported by Place Studio, who successfully support all stages of plan preparation for Neighbourhood Plans: securing grants, engaging whole communities, gathering robust evidence, writing strong policies and supporting the formal stages of consultation, examination and referendum.
Who pays for the Plan?
Government grant funding is being used and supplemented by Calne Town and Calne Without Parish Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding. Wiltshire Council provides technical advice and practical support, as well as paying for examination and referendum if needed.
What happens to the plan if/when Calne Without Parish no longer exists?
Wiltshire Council is due to make its final decision on the Community Governance Review for Calne Without Parish in October 2023, click here to read what implications this will have for the Neighbourhood Plan.
How can I get involved in the Plan?
We will be giving people who live and work in Calne a range of ways to get involved in the Plan review. Find out more by clicking here.
Will it stop houses being built?
A neighbourhood plan can’t stop new housing but with one, we, the community:
Have a say on where they are built
Have a say on the type and size of building
Have a say on what development looks like and
Have a say on what community benefits have to be provided.
Recent planning appeals had led to granting of planning permission that many in our community have felt frustrated about. What weight is given to the Neighbourhood Plan in planning decisions?
The Neighbourhood Plan is used together with the Wiltshire Core Strategy and must be taken into account when determining a planning application, in so far as the policies in the plan are material to the application.
In Wiltshire however, the Council cannot currently demonstrate a five year supply (or pipeline) of housing at different stages of build out, therefore national planning policy, rather than policies in a Local plan have greater influence in decision making. National policy states there should be a “presumption in favour of sustainable development” for housing. This means that if a site can be considered to deliver ‘sustainable development’ then planning permission could be granted, even if there is no support from the council for housing in that location or the site sits outside the Neighbourhood Plan.
When will we see the revised plan?
The plan consists of a number of chapters covering:
Sustainability & Climate Change
Housing & Communities
Working & Shopping
The chapters are at different stages of development but will be complete in the Autumn. They will then be shared with the community for comment.
Because the chapters contain a lot of information, we’ve created summaries of them which will be published on our website and on social media over the summer.
I own a building that may be included in the Plan as a Local Heritage Asset. What are the implications of that?
We've had a few questions from landowners as we've done some informal consultation and we've put together a Q&A specifically on this. Click here to read it.