Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans
The basis for planning is covered by Local and Neighbourhood plans. There are several stages to the plans. In chronological order the stages are:
- Government says there must be more dwellings built to house the growing population, and that all Planning Authorities must have a Plan to say where to put them. Medical advances and healthier lifestyles mean that we’re all living longer, and in smaller households, so we need housing for an extra generation.
- ERYC sets a strategy for where to put new housing and other development. They develop a score sheet for factors like access to services, transport links, employment locations, protection of heritage and wildlife, flood risk etc.
- Developers make ‘land bids’, telling the council where they would like to build. It’s no good building lots of houses where no-one will buy them.
- ERYC test the land bids against their criteria, and consult all the organisations that comment on individual planning applications. The sites that best meeting the criteria are accepted, but only enough to meet the housing numbers set by government.
- The ERYC Strategy and the Site allocations are examined by a Planning Inspector. Then they can be adopted as local planning law. So far the ERYC Local Plan has taken 8 years, and is just awaiting the Inspector’s opinion on the site allocations. The Strategy was approved earlier this year.
- Parish/Town Councils can have a Neighbourhood Plan. It cannot contradict the Local Plan, but can add more detail. It goes through the same inspection and consultation processes as the Local Plan, and must then be approved by parish referendum.
Cottingham has the most advanced Neighbourhood Plan in East Riding, and is waiting for the Inspector to approve the ERYC site allocations before it can be examined by the Inspector. It has cost Cottingham residents over £100,000, but is very detailed, and can be downloaded here.
In the case of Pocklington we are left with just two ways to ensure our local voice is heard.
- Pocklington Town Council need to produce a Neighbourhood Plan – This is still some way off.
- Objecting to Planning Applications If you would like to object to a planning application these are issues which “may” be considered.
Petitions can be very effective in many aspects of political life, but not in planning. The best way to make any case, either for or against something, is with a personal letter expressing personal concerns. Less useful is a standardised letter, but least effective of all is a petition, which is effectively treated as a single letter with many signatories.