Northam Neighbourhood Plan

For details of the meetings and membership of the Northam Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Group, please see the meeting's page under the Your Council tab.

On the Advisory Group's page you will also be able to find minutes of the meetings so you can read what has been discussed and agenda for forthcoming meetings.

For the next stages of the Northam Neighbourhood Plan development will be publicised both through this website and through a dedicated Facebook page. A new Facebook Page is being produced and will be available soon.

Northam Neighbourhood Development Plan v2.8 Cover Image 

The Council undertook the required  Pre-Submission Consultation exercise early in 2023. This involved the Plan being made available to the public, and local business and community organisations. A public event was held in each community, each of which was well attended.

Feedback was gathered both through a questionnaire completed by local people and in responses to specific sections by organisations.
504 questionnaires were completed and recorded. The results can be viewed HERE.   

The current DRAFT version of the Neighbourhood Development Plan can be read HERE.

The current DRAFT version of the Neighbourhood Development Plan Appendices and other papers are also available to read HERE.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood planning was introduced in the Localism Act 2011. It is an important and powerful tool that gives communities statutory powers to shape how their communities develop.

Torridge District Council addresses the Neighbourhood Plans in its Local Plan 2031. Section 9 of the TDC Local Plan 2031 is copied below for ease of access.


Neighbourhood Planning
9.1 The Localism Act 2011 reformed the planning system to give people new rights to shape the development of the communities in which they live. A new type of community-led planning initiative known as a Neighbourhood Plan will set out policies on the development and use of land in a parish or ‘neighbourhood area’. Once adopted, Neighbourhood Plans will become part of the planning policy, alongside this Local Plan, against which planning applications will be assessed.

9.2 Communities can use neighbourhood planning to influence the type, design and location of new development by shaping it rather than blocking the building of new homes and businesses. It can be prepared by a Parish Council or an approved Neighbourhood Forum and may propose more development but not less. Neighbourhood Plans must have regard to national planning policy and be in general conformity with strategic policies in Part One of this Local Plan.

9.3 The Localism Act introduced new rights and powers to allow local communities to shape new development by coming together to prepare neighbourhood plans. The Councils recognise that some communities wish to have a greater say in where development is located and the type of development built, and may wish for additional development to help deliver a new facility. Neighbourhood Plans provide a means to achieve this. Where Parish Councils have undertaken a Parish Plan, it can be used to inform preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan.

9.4 Neighbourhood planning can be taken forward by town and parish councils or by neighbourhood fora. Neighbourhood fora are community groups that are designated to take forward neighbourhood planning in areas without parishes. The role of the Local Planning Authority is to determine who should be the neighbourhood forum for the neighbourhood area; this will be determined in consultation with the local community.

9.5 Neighbourhood fora and parish councils can use new neighbourhood planning powers to establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood. These are described legally as 'Neighbourhood Development Plans.' In an important change to the planning system communities can use neighbourhood planning to permit development without the need for planning applications. These are called 'Neighbourhood Development Orders.'

9.6 The Councils support and encourage town and parish councils and neighbourhood fora to produce Neighbourhood Plans for their parishes and/or neighbourhoods. Further guidance will be provided by the Councils to assist parishes and neighbourhood fora to prepare Neighbourhood Plans.


Click on the pictures below for more information

Timetable - Content Coming Soon


The Neighbourhood Plan


Frequently Asked Questions


Relevant Links

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

In very simple terms, a neighbourhood plan is:
  • A document that sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area – planning policies are used to decide whether to approve planning applications
  • Written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, rather than the Local Planning Authority.
  • A powerful tool to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place.

How do we create a Neighbourhood Plan?

There are three main steps to creating a Neigbourhood Plan which are outlined below.

Step 1: Getting set up and deciding on the neighbourhood area.
Step 2: Community consultation and evidence.
Step 3: Submitting the plan. 




The three steps to a Neighbourhood Plan

Step 1: Getting set up and deciding on the neighbourhood area.
Following the requirements of the Act, the Town Council leads on the neighbourhood plan. It decides on the neighbourhood area (i.e. the area within which the neighbourhood plan policies will apply). This is often the same as the parish boundary. 
Once the neighbourhood area has been identified, it needs to be submitted to the local planning authority for designation, to officially recognise it.
Step 2: Community consultation and evidence. 
The whole point of a neighbourhood plan is that it is community led.
The neighbourhood plan advisory group needs to talk to lots of people locally – residents, businesses, community groups, schools – to find out what’s important to them about where they live, what they’d like to improve and what their vision is for the local area.
The Council must also gather evidence to back up, to evidence the ideas that the community want to see.
Using feedback and evidence, the Group will write the planning policies that will make our community’s vision a reality.



Step 3: Submitting the plan.
Once our draft neighbourhood plan is complete, it’s submitted to the local authority.
They’ll check that the Council has followed the correct procedures and that all required documents have been submitted, the local authority will then arrange for an independent examiner to check that the plan meets the basic conditions.
Finally, if our plan passes these tests, the local authority will organise a public referendum vote, so that everyone who lives in the defined neighbourhood area can decide whether they support it.
If more than 50% of the voters are in favour of the plan, the local authority must bring it into force.
This means that it will form part of the statutory development plan for the area, so any decisions about whether or not to grant planning permission in the neighbourhood area in the future must be made by taking the neighbourhood plan into consideration.