What is the difference between Parish Plans, Village Design Statements and Neighbourhood Plans?

Parish Plans are not planning documents and are not intended to be a response to planning issues. They are about what is important in a local community and cover the whole spectrum of social, economic and environmental issues. Issues which involve planning policy may or may not come up as part of the Parish Planning process, but more importantly they are about issues that are important to the community. Sometimes these plans are referred to as Community Plans. In the Test Valley there are 2 Town Councils (Romsey & Andover), 51 Parish Councils and 7 Parish Meetings (those parishes with very small populations). Only 9 have completed Parish Plans with a further 2 in process. This includes King’s Somborne but not Michelmersh & Timsbury. King’s Somborne has what is considered to be a best practice plan is the only parish to have produced an update. All of the produced plans can be viewed by clicking on this link Test Valley Parish Plans. The King’s Somborne update is available at www.thesombornes.org.

A Village Design Statement (VDS) only focuses on the physical (spatial) aspects of the community e.g. housing, hedges, lighting, and signage. Once completed, these documents will usually be adopted by Test Valley Borough Council as Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) and will then be used as evidence when consideration is given to future planning applications in the area. To date 22 of these have been completed including Michelmersh & Timsbury but not King’s Somborne. The completed ones can be viewed by clicking on this link Test Valley Village Design Statements with the one from Abbotts Ann being considered best practice.

The Neighbourhood Plan is a new concept that is part of the Localism Bill due to be released later this year A Neighbourhood Plan would be instigated by a Parish Council or other neighbourhood group, in partnership with the local planning authority and set within the context of the local and national planning policy framework. The purpose of Neighbourhood Planning is to give local people and businesses greater ownership of the plans and policies which affect their local area. The intention is to allow communities to take a proactive role in shaping the future of the areas where they live and work. Neighbourhood Planning has the potential to help make sure that development is in line with local needs, and provides more certainty for developers, residents and businesses. A Neighbourhood Plan would be able to show the specific site or broad place for development and specify the form, size, type and design. Final details of what exactly a Neighbourhood Plan will be and how it will be used will only come out with the Bill and although there are pilot studies underway there are none yet being produced for Test Valley. TVBC expect Neighbourhood Plans to be used to define Local Green Spaces which I will cover in a later post. For more information use this link Neighbourhood Plans

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: