What is the Neighbourhood Plan all about?

A Neighbourhood Plan gives local people the opportunity to have more control over planning decisions in our area.

It allows us to create a framework that will help us protect our green and leafy environment and the character of our villages.

And it gives the local community a greater say on new development.

The right for communities to develop a Neighbourhood Plan was established through the Localism Act 2011 and the rules governing their preparation were published in 2012. The government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that a Neighbourhood Plan gives communities “direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and deliver the sustainable development they need”.

The Government has made it clear that growth must be delivered and development will happen. Saying no to development is not an option and the “golden thread” that runs through the NPPF is a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Neigbourhood Plans cannot go against this.

But having a Neighbourhood Plan will help to make sure that decisions on development and growth will be based on local views – on what we want. It will enable us to influence planning decisions so that we get the right types of development in the right locations for our area.

Neighbourhood Plans are prepared by volunteers from the local community and must be based on evidence gathered through research and community consultation. In the preparation of the Tilehurst Parish Neighbourhood Plan we will listen very carefully to all the feedback received after our future consultations and will work hard to ensure that the Plan incorporates and reflects the majority views of the community.

Once adopted through a majority “Yes” vote in a public referendum, a Neighbourhood Plan becomes part of the West Berkshire Local Plan – making it a key part of deciding on planning applications.