East Devon’s Chief Executive, Mark Williams is supportive of George Osborne’s proposals to encourage local communities to establish their own neighbourhood plans
We are already actively encouraging local East Devon communities to produce their own Neighbourhood Plans and are acknowledged as one of the country’s leading authorities in the promotion and implementation of Neighbourhood Plans. We therefore welcome any Government proposals that will support this initiative - particularly if it will provide us with resources to continue our good work.
In fact 33 out of East Devon’s 67 parishes/towns are developing their own Neighbourhood Plans, guided by our own dedicated Neighbourhood Planning team.
The key point about a Neighbourhood Plan is that it gives towns, villages and parishes the opportunity to identify local aspirations and needs, and to then provide sustainable development, which matches those requirements. Essentially, it’s a planning document, created by local people, which guides and shapes development in an area.
However, a Neighbourhood Plan is not allowed to just parachute new homes into a community, it must also be sensitive to our natural and built environment, which is so precious.
Depending on their complexity, Neighbourhood Plans can take up to two years to produce, but they are without doubt a worthwhile endeavour and local communities can come to us for both technical and practical support. They can also refer to East Devon’s website, where we have published a comprehensive guide on how to produce a Neighbourhood Plan. We also recommend that anyone interested in producing a Neighbourhood Plan should approach their Parish or Town Council for endorsement.