The Project Plan

It seems that the best way of getting a Neighbourhood Plan in place will be to manage it as a ‘project’ – a one-off job to be done, with a distinct beginning, middle and end.

The current Neighbourhood Planning Group have prepared an outline Project Plan.

There will be stages we will have to go through, and within each stage, tasks that will have to be completed before the next thing can be done.  Each stage will need an end with a recognisable ‘milestone’.  Timing is also going to be important if the Neighbourhood Plan Project is to be completed in good time to tie in with the revisions to the Borough Council’s review of their Local Plan.

It was decided there would have to be a Project Plan mapping out the stages, with approximate dates, and the tasks within each stage.  The Project Plan will be reviewed regularly and altered according to what has been done and new information emerging – therefore it can be regarded as a DRAFT Project Plan.

The Project Plan  from April 2017 to date can be seen here – Project Plan Heacham NP – Apr 2021

We have also put together some very rough Terms of Reference for those working on the project so we have a common understanding of what we are doing.  It’s just a working document for the benefit of the Neighbourhood Planning Group.

View the  Heacham Parish Council Terms of Reference for Neighbourhood Planning Group here.

As we begin each stage we will break down the tasks that need to be done and show you the progress that has been made.

Stage 1

Getting started (Complete)

  • Scope aims for neighbourhood plan
  • Discuss intentions with the local planning authority
  • Publicise intention to produce a neighbourhood plan within the area, identify key local partners
  • Parish council establishes a steering group

Stage 2

Define Neighbourhood Area (Complete)

  • Decide on proposed boundary for the neighbourhood area
  • Prepare formal neighbourhoood area application
  • Submit neighbourhood area application to the local planning authority
  • Formal publicity on neighbourhood area application
  • Local planning authority issue their decision notice

Stage 3

 Early stage plan development   (Complete)

  • Initial meetings/discussions with Local Planning Authority to identify scope of their support to the neighbourhood plan group
  • Develop community engagement strategy
  • Community engagement/Consultation day
  • Analyse community engagement responses
  • Establish plan scope and formulate draft vision and objectives c/f to Stage 4

Stage 4 Building the Evidence Base (Complete)

  • Establish plan scope and formulate draft vision and objectives – b/f from Stage 3
  • Commission Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Commission Habitat Regulations Assessment
  • Undertake Housing Needs Assessment
  • Undertake Character Assessment
  • Develop and distribute questionnaires
  • Analyse responses to questionnaires
  • Develop and analyse evidence base (review existing evidence base, identify gaps, compile new evidence)

Stage 5 – Writing the Plan (Complete)

  • Further develop and refine the issues, vision, aims and objectives as result of the ongoing engagement programme and evidence gathering
  • Translate the vision and aims in to policies and proposals.
  • Check that neighbourhood plan policies are in general conformity with the strategic policies in the local plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.
  • Borough Council to undertake initial screening of draft Plan
  • Borough Council provide Screening Report
  • Community engagement/consultation on proposed policies and site allocations
  • Finalise Neighbourhood Plan as a result of ongoing engagement in preparation for pre-submissionconsultation

Stage 6 – Pre-submission consultation, modificatons and preparing the plan for submission to Local Planning Authority (Complete)

  • Pre-submission consultation
  • Community engagement/Consultation day (21 and 30/11/19)
  • Consider responses to consultation
  • Make relevant amendments to plan as a result of pre-submission consultation
  • Prepare basic conditions statement
  • Prepare consultation statement
  • Independent Healthcheck undertaken
  • Make relevant amendments to plan as a result of Independent Healthcheck Report
  • Parish Council approval to submit plan (16/02/2021)
  • Submit plan and associated documents to Local Planning Authority

Stage 7 – Independent Examination (in progress)

  • Meet with Local Planning Authority to discuss appointment of examiner and timescales for referendum
  • Regulation 16 consultation (minimum 6 weeks and led by the Local Planning Authority)
  • Examination
  • Examiner’s report published
  • Meetings/discussions with Local Planning Authority on the suggested recommendations and modifications to the plan (if any) within the examiner’s report and next steps

Stage 8 – Referendum

  • Publication of pre-Referendum information and documents
  • Referendum
  • Publication of referendum decision
  • Neighbourhood Plan is made