High Halstow Neighbourhood Plan - Regulation 16
A new plan for High Halstow
1.1 This is the draft Neighbourhood Plan for High Halstow. It covers the entire Parish, as illustrated in Figure 1. It sets out the local community's aspirations for High Halstow Parish over the period to 20371 and establishes policies relating to land use and development. These are policies that will influence future planning applications and decisions in the area. But the Neighbourhood Plan is much more than this. It represents the community's manifesto for the Parish, bringing together more than just traditional planning matters.
1.2 The purpose of neighbourhood planning is to give local people and businesses a much greater say in how the places they live and work should change and develop over time. Neighbourhood planning is designed to give local people a very real voice in shaping the look and feel of an area.
1.3 High Halstow Parish was formally designated as an area for neighbourhood planning purposes in June 20182. The High Halstow Parish Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee has surveyed, spoken to and listened to members of the community, and has used the issues, and opportunities, raised during that process to help inform production of the policies and projects now presented in this draft Neighbourhood Plan.
1.4 There are a number of stages involved in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan. Following consultation, the Plan has been submitted to Medway Council for the purposes of independent examination. Following this, a referendum will be held, where all people of voting age residing in the Parish will be able to cast a vote on whether they think the Neighbourhood Plan should be brought into force ('made'). If more than 50% of those people who turnout vote 'yes', the Neighbourhood Plan will be used to help shape planning decisions and applications in High Halstow. The current status of the Plan and next steps in the process are presented in Figure 2.
Figure 1: The High Halstow Neighbourhood Plan area, as approved by Medway Council, August 2018
Figure 2: Neighbourhood Plan timeline
Structure of the plan
1.5 Following this introduction the draft Neighbourhood Plan comprises eight further sections. These are:
- Section 2: 'High Halstow today', presents an overview of the area covered by the draft Neighbourhood Plan, what existing planning policy says for the area, key issues and comments raised during consultation.
- Section 3: 'High Halstow tomorrow', presents the vision and objectives for the Plan area.
- Sections 4 – 7: These sections present the policies and associated projects for High Halstow. These are grouped based upon the objectives and themes outlined in Section 3.
- Sections 8 - 9: 'Community Infrastructure' and 'Next steps', outlining the opportunities to influence delivery of infrastructure in the area and outlining the current stage in the plan making process, how to respond to the draft Plan, and what the future steps in the process are.
1.6 For the avoidance of doubt, within sections 4 – 7, each topic area includes some introductory and explanatory text, followed by one or both of the following:
The draft Neighbourhood Plan establishes land use and development management policies for High Halstow. These are contained in green shaded policy boxes, like this one, and will be used to help determine planning applications.
The draft Neighbourhood Plan covers more than just traditional planning matters as it presents the community's vision for the area. Items that the community are seeking, but that cannot be delivered through planning policy, are identified and contained in blue shaded project boxes, like this one. These are included within the body of the report, rather than being presented in a separate chapter or appendix, because they relate to the objectives and form a clear and important part of the story.
1 This aligns with the period covered by the emerging Medway Local Plan.
2 The Localism Act 2011 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/20/contents/enacted) gave communities the power to develop neighbourhood plans, to be progressed by Town and Parish councils, or neighbourhood forums, as opposed to the local authority.