A Neighbourhood Plan is a relatively new type of planning document, introduced
by the Localism Act 2011 and the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations
2012, to work alongside the District Council’s strategic planning policies.
It is a community-led framework for guiding future development, regeneration
and conservation within a specific area, known as the Neighbourhood Area
Neighbourhood Plans can establish planning policies and allocate land
for development, as long as these are in accordance with national and district
policies. For example, a Neighbourhood Plan cannot allocate less than the
required number of homes, which have been allotted in the District Council’s
Neighbourhood Plans introduce new powers to allow communities to set
their own priorities for development, within the area boundary, including
where new development should go and what it should look like.
A Plan typically explores issues such as transport, community, housing,
sustainability and employment.
Once adopted, any planning applications that fall within the
Neighbourhood Area Boundary (which is
the same as the Parish boundary) will be assessed against the relevant policies
contained within the Neighbourhood Plan, as well as any other relevant policies
that may already be in place, such as the District Council’s Local Plan.
The Neighbourhood Area Boundary also determines who will get to vote
in the referendum. This will be people who live within the Neighbourhood
Area Boundary and qualify to vote in local council elections.
A Neighbourhood Plan must conform with national and local planning policy
(this is known as the basic conditions test). Once the Plan is finalised,
it sits as part of the District Council’s Development Plan (for the Berrick
Salome Neighbourhood Plan this is part of South Oxfordshire District Council
(SODC′s) Local Plan). All applications are determined on the policies
contained within the Local Plan unless material considerations indicate
For further information on Neighbourhood Plans in South Oxfordshire,
The Parish Council is legally responsible for the delivery of the Neighbourhood
Plan and will co-ordinate the plan-making process. However, the wider community
is encouraged to become actively involved in the plan-making process. The
Parish Council have engaged a consultant to help produce the Plan.
The Berrick Salome Parish Neighbourhood Plan will be adopted and become
part of SODC′s Development Plan for the area, if successful at referendum.
A person is entitled to vote if at the time of the referendum, they meet
the eligibility criteria to vote in a local election for the area, if they
live in the referendum area and they are on the electoral roll.
The Plan has some limited weight from the time the Full Plan is submitted
to SODC. As the Plan progresses through the statutory process to adoption
(e.g. review by Independent Examiner) it carries more weight at each stage
until, having passed the Referendum, it carries full legal weight.
If 50% or more of the respondents to the referendum vote in favour of
the Plan, it is accepted and moves forward to adoption. If 50% or more of
the respondents vote against the Plan, it is rejected and does not proceed
– effectively the village would have to start the process all over again.
The Plan will be reviewed by SODC and other key stakeholders over a six-week
period and questions and comments relayed back to the team. The team will
then process these, amending the Plan as required, and adding detailed elements
that were not ready for inclusion in our Pre-Submission (Draft) version.
When the revised (Final) version of the Plan is ready, this will be submitted
to SODC and they will then assume responsibility for the final set of Inspection,
Referendum and Adoption processes. This final process set runs to a statutory
timetable that typically lasts 6 months from the point of submission.
When SODC triggers the referendum – all residents of the Parish over
the age of 18 are eligible to vote in this referendum.