The North Petherton Neighbourhood Plan is an opportunity for local people to have an impact on the type of issues that affect North Petherton. Whilst the plan is about land use planning; housing, business, green space, leisure facilities, those sorts of things; it provides an opportunity for local people and organisations to develop their own ideas about the place where they live, work and visit and for these ideas to work alongside Sedgemoor’s Local Plan; the primary governing document for planning in the local area.
Is this plan likely to have any impact on Local Planning?
Neighbourhood Planning has, at its core, government legislation and support. The Localism Act, passed at the end of 2011 has been followed by a series of Regulations, providing guidance and a legal framework. Sedgemoor Local Planning Authority must follow this guidance and it provides an opportunity for communities to guide planning in their own areas.
How is this different to the Local Plan being reviewed by Sedgemoor District?
Like the Local Plan, The Neighbourhood Plan is very much about land use planning. However, the Local Plan is much more strategic; it covers the whole of the District Council areas and is about wider issues. Whilst the Neighbourhood Plan cannot conflict with the Local Plan or other strategies or policies, it can add local views, opinions and policies at a far higher level of detail about what local people want in their local area. The two plans work very closely together.
Who is running and paying for this process?
Inevitably, this process costs money to run. North Petherton Town Council are providing the funds. However, it is seen as very much a joint venture between the town council and the local community; drawing in a wide range of local interests driving the project ahead (commerce, education and residents, for example). We have also called in help from independent specialists as well as drawing in help from Sedgemoor District who are being very helpful in providing support and assistance.