The 2011 Localism Act has given communities the right to draw up a Neighbourhood Plan. This right is aimed at giving local communities genuine opportunities to influence the future of the places where they live.
On 7 September 2020, Long Whatton and Diseworth agreed to prepare a neighbourhood plan for the parish. The preparation of the Long Whatton and Diseworth Neighbourhood Plan is intended to allow people who live, work and have a business in the area to have a say where they think new houses and businesses should be located and what they should look like. A Neighbourhood Plan can also identify and protect important Local Green Spaces, conserve local heritage and protect areas of nature conservation interest. The Long Whatton and Diseworth Neighbourhood Plan will be a statutory plan which means that once it has been finalised, decisions on planning applications will be made using both the North West Leicestershire Local Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan, and any other material considerations.
The Long Whatton and Diseworth Neighbourhood Area
The Neighbourhood Area includes the whole of Long Whatton and Diseworth parish. Long Whatton and Diseworth Parish Council applied for Neighbourhood Area designation on 21 September 2020. The Neighbourhood Area was designated by North West Leicestershire District Council on 14 October 2020.
Only a draft neighbourhood plan that meets each of a set of basic conditions can be put to a referendum and be adopted. This means that there is not an entirely free hand over how the Plan is prepared. In particular, a Neighbourhood Plan must have regard to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), National Planning Practice Guidance and the Development Plan for the area.
National Planning Policy Framework
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was first published on 27 March 2012 and updated on 24 July 2018, 19 February 2019 and 20 July 2021. It sets out the Government's planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.
The planning practice guidance to support the framework is published online.
North West Leicestershire Local Plan
The North West Leicestershire Local Plan (as amended by a Partial Review) was adopted at Council on 16 March 2021. There is a wider ranging review of the Local Plan taking into account changes that have occurred since adoption in 2017, including the publication of a new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It will need to identify potential housing and employment sites to meet the identified need, along with the new infrastructure required as well as reviewing the existing policies.
The review of the Local Plan will also need to take account of one of the strategic growth locations identified in the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan which covers the northern part of North West Leicestershire and Charnwood Borough.
What has been done so far
The preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan has been led by a Neighbourhood Plan Working Group of Long Whatton and Diseworth Parish Council which is the Qualifying Body.
Neighbourhood Plan Working Group Minutes
Our plans for consultation events in 2021 were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All members of society are required to adhere to guidance to help combat the spread of COVID-19 and the guidance has had implications for neighbourhood planning including public consultation.
A questionnaire was distributed to local households in June 2021. 330 responses were received.
Neighbourhood Plan Funding
All groups undertaking a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order are eligible to apply for up to £10,000. As well as applying for a basic grant, the Parish Council has applied for technical support to help you with the neighbourhood plan. Technical support has been provided by AECOM to undertake a Housing Needs Study and Design Code.
A project plan setting out the key steps in preparing the Neighbourhood Plan has been prepared and is regularly updated.