1. What is a Neighbourhood plan?
Neighbourhood Planning ensures that our community can shape the future development and growth of our Parish. It provides us with a powerful set of tools so we can plan our vision of where homes, shops and businesses could be built and what they should look like. Additionally, we can identify the need for new green spaces, cycleways, footpaths, sports and other facilities.
2. What must a Neighbourhood plan do ?
A neighbourhood plan should support the strategic development needs and policies set out in the draft WODC Local Plan (West Oxfordshire District Council). It must also be consistent with national planning policy as set out in the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework).
3. How do we build a neighbourhood plan?
The Brize Norton Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group research the draft WODC Local Plan and make refinements to suit our village. This will include planning, transport and movement, village community and environment/sport/recreation. We test local opinion with community meetings and questionnaires. We then produce a report on behalf of Brize Norton Parish Council which has to be approved by WODC and a Government Inspector. If the Plan is approved by these Authorities, then the final step is that the whole Parish Community has the opportunity to approve or to reject the Plan in a local Referendum.
4. What happens to the Neighbourhood Plan when approved?
If the Plan passes the approval stages and Referendum, it will become part of the statutory development plan covering all planning developments in Brize Norton. Although the responsibility for planning decisions remain with WODC, they are required by law to take into account the views expressed in the Neighbourhood Plan when arriving at their decisions.
5. Whats in it for us, financially speaking?
There is a financial incentive for the Parish to have a Neighbourhood Plan in place. Developers of larger proposals will be required to make payments for community benefits in the form of a CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy). When Brize Norton has a Neighbourhood Plan in place, the percentage of the CIL that goes back to the Parish for spending on community schemes goes up from 15% to 25%. The remainder goes to WODC for community schemes across the District.
6. Apart from financial? What other benefits are there?
If a Neighbourhood Plan is not in place, speculative development proposals can be submitted even though they may not meet the community’s view or preferences for development in the Parish. Speculative proposals would simply be tested against the WODC Local Plan and national policy, which has a presumption in favour of sustainable development, making it much more difficult to reject applications even where the local community oppose them.
7. What does it cover?
The designated area of the Neighbourhood Plan is the Parish of Brize Norton. The scope will include planning, transport and movement, village community and environment/sport/recreation within the Parish Boundary.
8. What doesn’t it cover?
It cannot conflict with any strategic policies in the draft WODC Local Plan including housing developments and housing volumes. It will not cover any MOD land that lies within the Parish Boundary due to the unique operational requirements of RAF Brize Norton.
9. How much does it cost?
There is money available through a grant to assist with the funding of the Neighbourhood Plan. There is also a huge amount of time and effort put in by the Steering Group and our professional advisors, Community First Oxford.
10. Who puts it together?
A Neighbourhood Plan is a community-led project. The Steering Group are all residents of Brize Norton, working as a sub-committee of the Parish Council. They bring local knowledge and enthusiasm to the project.
11. What happens now?
The first step required the Parish to register the intention to produce a Neighbourhood Plan to WODC. This was done by Brize Norton Parish Council in December 2016.
The second step was to apply for the Designation of Brize Norton Parish as the Neighbourhood Area which was done in April 2017.
The third step was to hold an initial Community Consultation to gauge your views on how you would like to see Brize Norton develop over the plan period (2017 – 2031, in line with the draft WODC Local Plan).
12. How can I get involved?
The whole process is about community engagement. If you would like to become involved, for example as a member of the Steering Group, to provide specialist input or helping with consultation and community engagement, then please contact us via the “Contact Us” link on the homepage of this website.
13. Are we alone in this?
Far from it. Communities and parishes large and small, up and down the country are developing or have produced their Neighbourhood Plans. Neighbouring communities and parishes in West Oxfordshire such as Broadwell, Charlbury, Eynsham, Hailey, Milton Under Wychwood, Shilton and South Leigh are at different stages in the development of their Neighbourhood Plans. Chipping Norton has had their Neighbourhood Plan adopted.
14. What support is available?
We are supported by the Community Planning Officer for WODC & Cotswold District Councils. We are also supported by our professional advisors, Community First Oxford who are guiding us through the Plan process.