Neighbourhood planning was introduced by the Government as part of its Localism agenda and is a new way for communities to decide the future of the places where they live and work, in general conformity with the strategic policies in the Local Plan.
The government wants to put power back in the hands of local residents, employees and business, councils and civic leaders - those who know best the needs of their local areas. It sees Neighbourhood Plans as a positive force to shape development in local communities.
Lichfield District Council, as the Local Planning Authority, designated the Lichfield City Neighbourhood Area in late 2013. This enabled the City Council to commence the process of preparing the Neighbourhood Plan, and it decided to focus the Plan on employment and economic development themes with the aim of effecting genuine economic change over the Plan period to 2029.
The principal aim of the Neighbourhood Plan is to increase the number of employment opportunities in the City.
The process of producing a Neighbourhood Plan is in several stages. We have gathered eveidence and opinions from other statutory bodies, local community groups, organisations, businesses and the general public. We engaged with stakeholders during workshop sessions at the Guildhall in late November 2015 and the themes established at these events were used to inform the Draft Neighbourhood Plan.
Pre-Submission Consultation (Regulation 14) July - September 2016
As part of the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 and Regulation 14 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2015 (as amended), Lichfield City Council undertook Pre-Submission Consultation on the Lichfield City Draft Neighbourhood Plan between 15 July and 9 September 2016.
Several constructive comments were received and various details of the Draft Plan were amended. The revised Neighbourhood Plan was submitted for further informal consultation in February 2017 as a number of important documents that could impact on the Neighbourhood Plan were being prepared by Lichfield District Council and their consultants at the time.
A response to this submission was received in March 2017 and included important information regarding the Draft Local Plan Allocations Document and the Lichfield Centres Report (2017). Revisions to the Neighbourhood Plan were agreed to ensure it reflected the emerging and most recently published evidence.
The City Council is now preparing to submit the revised draft Neighbourhood Plan to Lichfield District Council for formal consultation and independent examination. As part of this process a suite of documents must be submitted, including;
Some of the documents used to inform the draft Neighbourhood Plan include;
The final stage of the Neighbourhood Plan is the referendum, so it must be able to obtain majority support from the electors if it is to be adopted. The Plan then becomes part of the formal Development Plan for the area, with legal force, and helps shape the direction of future employment development in the City.