What is it?
Neighbourhood Planning was introduced by the Localism Act 2011, and for the first time, gives local people a real say in shaping the future development of their area. See the government site for more information.
This gives our community a say on the future size and shape of development (houses, shops and businesses), and a voice on the issues we’ve identified as most important to us here in Bray parish:
- Housing & the Built Environment
- Countryside & Green Belt
- Transport & Infrastructure
- The Local Economy
and groups have been set up to focus on these topics.
Bray Parish Neighbourhood Plan, along with other plans in this area (see more in the Links section below), will become – if adopted – part of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) Local Plan; this sets out strategic policies to 2026 including housing, business, retail and transport. Our Neighbourhood Plan can’t be incompatible with the Local Plan policies – but it can amplify or extend the RBWM policies.
In 2012, the Government published the National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) – which replaced all previous planning policies – covering all development and sets out national economic, environmental and social priorities. Each Local Authority prepares its own core strategy, which becomes its Local Plan – and Neighbourhood Plans become part of this Local Plan.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has allocated budget to us to achieve the first plan; we are currently well within this.
Get Involved in the Bray Parish Neighbourhood Plan
Have a look at the Get Involved (link) page – we’re always looking for new volunteers.
What have we done so far?
Our Steering Group members have been to events to learn about the new legislation, how it’s being implemented, and how other Neighbourhood Plans are progressing.
We’ve consulted with people in Bray Parish via meetings and questionnaires, and the Princes Trust held five public workshops to gather local views (see document.) (link to Princes Trust doc)
Two formal submissions have now been made to RBWM and DCLG for their comment.
The process to develop the Plan
- The Plan is currently being drafted by the Steering Group.
- Once ready, there will be local consultation on the Draft Plan,
- Amendments will be made following the consultation.
- The Draft Plan is then submitted to an independent examination by the government Planning Inspectorate. This body is made up of people such as QCs, planners, lawyers and others who’ve been trained to run Planning Enquiries and so on. They’ll check the correct legal procedures have been followed, and enough evidence gathered to continue to the next step.
- Once it’s passed, the Plan’s submitted to a local referendum of Parish residents.
- Should the Plan not pass the local referendum, planning applications can be dealt with, without the weight of local expressed and approved views – and a new Neighbourhood plan may have to be started from scratch.
- Once getting final approval from local people, our Plan will form part of the RBWM development plan, and carry real legal weight in planning decisions.