Neighbourhood planning is a process by which communities can come together and prepare plans that will guide the type of developments they wish to see in their local area.
Neighbourhood planning enables parish councils and, in non-parish areas, neighbourhood forums, the opportunity to use tools such as 'Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDP)' and 'Neighbourhood Development Orders' to prepare a spatial plan for their area, in consultation with local residents, businesses and other interested parties.
A NDP should support the strategic development needs set out in the Local Plan and plan positively to support local development. NDP's are tools for sustainable development and cannot be used to prevent development in an area - they can only include proposals for an equal (or greater) amount of growth than is set out in the local authority's development plan.
Certain procedures and requirements need to be followed in undertaking neighbourhood planning and Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) has a duty to provide technical and practical support to those that decide to prepare a NDP or Order. For more information please contact the Planning Policy team via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01306 879281.
The Ashtead, Bookham, Capel (parish wards of Beare Green, Capel and Coldharbour) and Westcott Neighbourhood Plans now form part of the Development Plan for Mole Valley. In addition, a Neighbourhood Development Plan is currently being prepared for Ockley.
Process of preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan
There are three main stages in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan. These are:
1. Getting Established
The first step in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan is to designate the Neighbourhood Area and, where appropriate, set up a Neighbourhood Forum. The Neighbourhood Area needs to be approved by MVDC who is required to consult on the proposal for 4-6 weeks, depending on the type of application.
2. Preparing the Plan
Preparing to write a Neighbourhood Plan includes building an evidence base and conducting consultations with the local community and developing local partnerships. This will inform the vision and/or aims of the plan which will then inform the formulation of policies. Community engagement is necessary at all stages of the plan-making process.
3. Bringing the Plan into force
The proposed Neighbourhood Plan will be submitted to the local planning authority (MVDC). Providing the plan meets all the requirements the local planning authority will publicise the plan and arrange for an independent examination and public referendum.
The Ashtead NDP was 'made' on 23 May 2017 at the Annual Council meeting of MVDC. It forms part of the Development Plan for Mole Valley and its policies will be used when considering planning applications submitted in the Ashtead Neighbourhood Area.
The Bookham NDP was 'made' on 23 May 2017 at the Annual Council meeting of MVDC. It forms part of the Development Plan for Mole Valley and its policies will be used when considering planning applications submitted in the Bookham Neighbourhood Area.
The Capel NDP was 'made' on 5 December 2017 by MVDC. It forms part of the Development Plan for Mole Valley and its policies will be used when considering planning applications in the Beare Green, Capel and Coldharbour Neighbourhood Area.
More information can be found on the Capel NDP web page. The Neighbourhood Plan is available to view below (see 'Downloads').
Ockley began preparation of their Neighbourhood Plan in February 2013. For the most up to date information please see the Ockley Parish Council NDP website.
The Westcott NDP was 'made' on 5 December 2017 by MVDC. It forms part of the Development Plan for Mole Valley and its policies will be used when considering planning applications in the Westcott Neighbourhood Area.
Malden Rushett Community applied to be recognised as a neighbourhood forum in September 2019, but subsequently withdrew the application.
The proposed neighbourhood area comprised land mainly within the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames but also included a small parcel of land in Mole Valley.