Designation of the Neighbourhood Area
Brightlingsea Town Council submitted an area application to the District Council to begin their Neighbourhood Plan on 28 May 2021. The Area Application indicated that the Town Council intended to designate the entire Brightlingsea Parish as their Neighbourhood Plan Area.
The designation of Neighbourhood Plan Areas (the first stage in preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan) is a decision delegated to the Acting Director for Planning, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning.
The regulations that relate to the making of a Neighbourhood Plan Area state:
An application must be made by a parish or town council, neighbourhood forum or a prospective neighbourhood forum (or a community organisation in the case of a Community Right to Build Order) to the local planning authority for a neighbourhood area to be designated (see regulation 5 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended). This must include a statement explaining why the proposed neighbourhood area is an appropriate area.
A local planning authority must determine the application within certain timescales.
The 2012 Regulations state:
Application for designation of a neighbourhood area
5.—(1) Where a relevant body(1) submits an area application to the local planning authority it must include—
(a)a map which identifies the area to which the area application relates;
(b)a statement explaining why this area is considered appropriate to be designated as a neighbourhood area; and
(c)a statement that the organisation or body making the area application is a relevant body for the purposes of section 61G of the 1990 Act.
(2) A local planning authority may decline to consider an area application if the relevant body has already made an area application and a decision has not yet been made on that application.
Officers considered that the submitted information was sufficient to satisfy the 2012 Regulations and be made as an application. The Plan Area was agreed by the Acting Director for Planning in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning on the 24 June 2021.