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Bill Reay

We are at the pre-submission stage of our NDP. Our District Council’s Allocation Plan (5yr HLS) is undergoing examination with the outcome due in a few months time (shades of Chilcott!). Our NDP conforms to the Plan under examination. My question is this, “Should we proceed with the pre-submission examination, or, wait until the outcome of the Allocation Plan?”

I am aware of a recent Parliamentary Briefing Document’Neighbourhood Planning'(No.05838 dated 14th March 2016) – attached, which says it has clarified this situation of where there is no up-to-date local Plan. I reproduce the relevant section here:-
“Can a Neighbourhood Plan come forward before an up-to-date Local Plan is in place?
Neighbourhood plans, when brought into force, become part of the development plan for the neighbourhood area. They can be developed before or at the same time as the local planning authority is producing its Local Plan.
A draft neighbourhood plan or Order must be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan in force if it is to meet the basic condition. Although a draft Neighbourhood Plan or Order is not tested against the policies in an emerging Local Plan the reasoning and evidence informing the Local Plan process is likely to be relevant to the consideration of the basic conditions against which a neighbourhood plan is tested. For example, up-to-date housing needs evidence is relevant to the question of whether a housing supply policy in a neighbourhood plan or Order contributes to the achievement of sustainable development.
Where a neighbourhood plan is brought forward before an up-to-date Local Plan is in place the qualifying body and the local planning authority should discuss and aim to agree the relationship between policies in:
• the emerging neighbourhood plan
• the emerging Local Plan
• the adopted development plan
• with appropriate regard to national policy and guidance.
The local planning authority should take a proactive and positive approach, working collaboratively with a qualifying body particularly sharing evidence and seeking to resolve any issues to ensure the draft neighbourhood plan has the greatest chance of success at independent examination.
The local planning authority should work with the qualifying body to produce complementary neighbourhood and Local Plans. It is important to minimise any conflicts between policies in the neighbourhood plan and those in the emerging Local Plan, including housing supply policies. This is because section 38(5) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires that the conflict must be resolved by the decision maker favouring the policy which is contained in the last document to become part of the development plan. Neighbourhood plans should consider providing indicative delivery timetables, and allocating reserve sites to ensure that emerging evidence of housing need is addressed. This can help minimise potential conflicts and ensure that policies in the neighbourhood plan are not overridden by a new Local Plan.8
There are also sections in the Planning Practice Guidance on how planning applications should be decided where the local planning authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supple of deliverable housing sites, in relation to:
• An emerging neighbourhood plan; and
• A made neighbourhood plan.
These sections were introduced following the Government’s proposal in the November 2015 Autumn Statement to ensure that local communities could allocate land for housing through neighbourhood plans, even if that land is not allocated in the local plan.”

Any suggestions as to wether we should proceed,or,await the outcome the Local Allocation Plan?

Bill Reay

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