What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) sets out policies in relation to the development and use of land in an area.

The East Hagbourne Neighbourhood Plan is our NDP and will be a very important document which will be material to all planning decisions in the parish. The Plan must be drafted by local people who are recognised as representatives of the community, and if it is approved by a referendum in the parish, it is expected to shape planning decisions alongside South Oxfordshire District Council’s (SODC) Local Plan. 

An NDP is a very comprehensive document. It contains a full survey of community assets and needs – from affordable housing to protecting the natural environment – and sets out the policies and projects that will define how the parish changes in the coming years. This vision will be very important for the community, SODC, Oxfordshire County Council and developers.

Why does East Hagbourne need an Neighbourhood Plan? 

East Hagbourne is adjacent to Didcot but should maintain its unique character and environment.

Didcot is growing and inevitably this will have impact on land and communities to its south. Our Neighbourhood Plan will promote a vision that embraces change while protecting our community and environment. 

SODC’s present Core Strategy is being challenged by speculative developers who would like to build on land in the parish. While a Neighbourhood Plan cannot specifically legislate against development it can be very influential in the planning process and offer a measure of protection against unwanted development. 

SODC’s emerging new Local Plan will contain planning policies for the district for the period between 2017 and 2031. It is likely that the new Local Plan will promote development in the district’s small villages including East Hagbourne. Our Neighbourhood Plan cannot contradict SODC’s Local Plan but it can be a detailed locally produced framework for development in the Parish.

How will the Plan affect planning in East Hagbourne?

An NDP can lead to other very important planning documents.

An NDP is the framework for a Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO), a new type of planning document which allows the community to grant permission for development that complies with the Order. It also removes the requirement to submit a formal planning application. An NDP can also be the framework for a Community Right to Build Order, which can give permission for small-scale, site-specific building by a community group. In addition, having an NDP can make it easier to secure funding for community projects.

Who is responsible for the Plan?

The Plan is being led by a Planning Groups composed of local people and elected parish councillors. The members of the Planning Groups can be seen here. The terms of reference for the Planning Groups can be seen here [add link]. 

Who pays for the Plan? 

The Neighbourhood Plan will be funded by The Parish Council and Grants from SODC.