As you may be aware, a recent change in government policy gives local parishes more of a say in how their towns and villages should be developed. It enables communities to draw up a Neighbourhood Plan and is intended to give them more of a say in the development of their local area.
Each community faces its own unique set of challenges and neighbourhood planning enables a community to play a much stronger role in shaping the areas in which they live and work and in supporting new development proposal.
Neighbourhood plans are planning policy document prepared by local communities. In areas like Cannington where there is a parish council, the council will take the lead in preparing the plan.
A Plan provides the opportunity to set out a positive vision for how the community wants the community to develop over the next ten, fifteen, twenty years in ways that meet identified local needs and make sense for local people. They can put in place planning policies that will help deliver that vision or grant planning permission for the development they want to see
When adopted, Neighbourhood Plans become part of the development plan. This means they will sit alongside the Local Plan for the area and be the first thing considered in deciding whether or not planning permission should be given for new buildings, or for changes to existing buildings.
Neighbourhood plans are about making sure new homes and businesses can be built where and how local people want them. They are expected to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. However they do not automatically grant planning permission, unless they contain a neighbourhood development order or community right to build order. So in most cases, developers will still need to apply for permission.
At the end of 2013, every household in the Cannington Parish was asked to complete a questionnaire by the Parish Council. The questionnaire was aimed at finding out what the residents thought was important to them, what they liked about living in Cannington, what they wanted to preserve and what they would like to see in the future. The results of the initial questionnaire were collated and a small Steering Group comprising Parish Councillors and interested parishioners was formed to help lead on developing a Neighbourhood Plan.
You can find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan by going to: http://cannington-neighbourhoodplan.info