What is a Neighbourhood Development Plan?

A Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) allows local prople to sets out their vision for their community. NDP’s were introduced as part of the Localism act in 2011.

The completed plan contains a set of local planning policies that will be applied to all development within the parish and support sustainable development.  These policies support sustainable development and guide residents, local authorities and developers on how the community wishes to manage and control future development in the parish.

Goudhurst Parish covers@ 25 Km2 and is one of the largest geographical Parishes in the South of England. The parish has a rich history and the natural environment has changed little over centuries. 90% of the Parish falls within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) and 25% of our buildings are listed. A Neighbourhood Development Plan will allow us to ensure that any development respects the character and history of our community.

The plan also identifies aspects of our community, for example green spaces, that we want to protect as well as community projects that reflect the needs and aspirations of the parish. Once approved the Goudhurst plan will be adopted by TWBC and  will be a key consideration in any planning applications in the village.

The plan has a 15 years lifespan but once in place is updated from time-to-time and updated formally every five years.

An NDP is not a silver bullet and It is not intended to block all future development.  It does provide a set of criteria to assess any planning applications providing residents with far more influence than is the case today.

To build our plan we must:

  1. Understand the needs and wishes of the community.
  2. Build a vision for our community – People were asked for their Goudhurst-good/bad dreams  in our first public meeting and we will build on these initial ideas. We will repeat this process.
  3. Develop a set of criteria to measure development proposals within the parish.
  4. Create a set of community policies for the management of development based on the evidence we collect
  5. Identify any potential projects raised by residents

Neighbourhood Plans does not stand-alone and our plan will have to be in conformity with the strategic policies of the TWBC Local Plan.

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