Epping Designated as a Neighbourhood Planning Area
The Town Council is pleased to announce that it's application to have the Town designated as a neighbourhood planning area has been granted by Epping Forest District Council.
What does this mean?
It means that we now have the opportunity to shape planning policy within the town. Every District Council has a local plan, which are the set of criteria they use to assess planning applications against. There is also a National Planning Framework sitting above that in the hierachy. A neighbourhood plan, if adopted becomes part of the legal framework ans policies within it will be used to make planning decisions in the town.
Can it be used to prevent development?
No. The neighbourhood plan cannot over-ride the Local plan in terms of the amount of houses or businesses that have been assessed as being required by the District Council in the Town. What it can do however, is decide where they should be built and what design standards should be applied. It can also contain strategic policies about where recreational facilities should be placed.
What is the process?
The Town Council will consult residents and other parties about what policies they feel the plan should contain. Once a plan is drawn up, every resident of the Town gets the opportunity to decide if they want the local plan to be adopted by holding a local referendum. If the majority of voters back the plan, it must be adopted by the District Council and becomes a plan that will help decide planning applications within Epping. It is a great opportunity for residents to shape the way that Epping will develop over the next few years.
More Information (from a presentation given to the Epping Society)