Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP)?

Neighbourhood planning is a right for communities to shape development in their areas through the production of NDPs. An NDP becomes part of the Local Plan and the policies contained within them are then used in the determination of planning applications.

An NDP sets out specific planning policies to suit the community’s vision, as well as allocating sites for specific use classes and development, such as for community facilities, sports fields, mixed use development etc.

This NDP was set up by the Parish Council. The NDP carries out all the relevant work and preparation of the NDP in order to provide robust recommendations and a well-thought out NDP to the Parish Council for their final approval.

What are the benefits of an NDP for the local community?

A well-considered NDP can improve the health and wellbeing of a community through planning policies that can improve the visual appearance of the area, improve run down areas, enhance through more green spaces, improve availability of recreational facilities, and careful allocation of development so that it is well placed to reduce demand on use of the car, promote social interaction and use of local facilities etc.

In addition, having an NDP in place increases the Community Infrastructure Levy contributions for the Parish, which increases the funding available for improvements to be carried out by the Parish Council.

I don’t have the skills or the experience, how can I still help?

Yes! You have a wealth of local knowledge through living in this Parish, and vital inputs and expertise associated with the various demographics covered you and your family and friends. It is key to ensure the proposed policies and site options support all those living in the parish from the new babies and parents, through to the retired population – everyone deserves to benefit from where they live.

Why should I join the NDP team?

It is important to the community that the NDP succeeds as it will help to shape the future of our villages and whole Parish. It will help planning authorities make decisions about housing and facilities, and help guide new development to be in line with the community’s vision for the future of their Parish.

You also get to meet like-minded people, and make some new friends within the Parish!

What is the Steering Group?

The Steering Group is the core team of volunteers who guide the process, liaise with the key authorities, including EHDC, SDNPA and Locality, and importantly vote on the proposals to be put forward to the Parish Council for final consideration.

What are the Working Parties?

The Working Parties are motivated volunteers with an interest in a specific theme area, i.e. community facilities, sports and recreation, employment etc. The Working Parties have a Steering Group lead, and they research, assess and gather the relevant evidence to support the proposed planning policies and land requirements for the Parish.

Their work supports the identification of potential site options to provide the facilities and development required for the Parish.

What’s the current stage?

The NDP are currently further assessing all the sites, land and property, that has been independently assessed by AECOM in order to identify which sites and combination of sites could bring the facilities and development needed to support the parish.

In addition, further reports are being prepared, and planning policies are being refined to ensure they support the parish as intended.

What’s the relevance of joining at this stage in the process?

Key assessments and decisions are being made at this stage, and it is vital to consider the policies and site options proposed from a wide range of views to ensure the NDP proposes benefits that assist as much of the community as possible.

What is the timeframe and when will it be finalised?

The timeframe was adjusted to be inline with EHDC’s emerging Local Plan and changing government legislation, in order for the NDP to be as up to date as possible.

The current timeframe is to complete the Site Options Assessment in Spring 2021 for a public consultation on the various site options, with the aim to have a draft NDP ready for the formal 6 week Regulation 14 Pre-Submission public consultation in late Summer 2021, followed by the Regulations 16 Consultation undertaken by EHDC and submission to the Examiner, before finally being submitted for Referendum at the Examiner’s recommendation.

A Referendum is successful where there is a majority in support.

What roles do East Hampshire District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority have?

The designated area for the B&L NDP is split between two planning authorities. The majority of the Parish is within East Hampshire District Council’s planning authority (EHDC), and the South Down National Park Authority (SDNPA) covers the area wrapping around the South of Liphook, and to the West side of the Parish.

Each Planning Authority has its own Local Plan and planning policies, at present EHDC’s emerging Local Plan is in draft format.

EHDC are the lead planning authority for the purposes of the NDP.

What conditions do NDPs have to meet?

To make sure the plans are legally compliant and take account of other local and national policies, the plans have to meet a number of conditions before they can be put to a community referendum and legally come into force. NDPs must be in line with:

  1. National Planning Policy
  2. Strategic policies in the development plan for the local area. These include the South Downs Local Plan 2014-2033 (adopted July 2019) and currently the East Hampshire District Local Plan: Joint Core Strategy adopted in June 2014.

Who checks that the plans are compliant before they are voted on?

An independently qualified person (Examiner) checks that an NDP appropriately meets the conditions before it can be voted on in a local referendum.

When are the plans implemented?

Following a successful referendum the NDP will become a formal piece of planning legislation legally brought into force by EHDC.

Who will decide planning applications once we have an NDP for Bramshott & Liphook?

EHDC and SDNPA remain the decision makers for planning applications in our Parish, and they will legally required to assess all planning applications submitted in this Parish against the NDP for conformity.

Can an NDP stop development from happening in our area?

No, the Government has made clear that NDPs are not tools to stop development. There are intended to be enabling Plans so they cannot, for instance, promote a lower rate of development in an area than may have already been agreed by the Planning Authority. They must be consistent with National and local planning policies.

An NDP can promote and allocate land for specific uses, in consultation with land owners, and can assist with protecting parts of the Parish for specific use classes, ie. retaining commercial units etc.

What is a ‘Call for Sites’?

A ‘Call for Sites’ is a specific request for landowners to submit land and property, that is available for development, for the NDPs consideration. The sites that come forward are individually assessed against a set criteria to establish their potential, restrictions and scope to provide suitable facilities and development for the parish.

This process forms part of the formal assessment to identify where potential new development could be located within the parish.

What is a Site Options Assessment?

A Site Options Assessment assesses all potential sites that have been put forward for consideration to the NDP and also to EHDC and SDNPA, in their own independent Call for Sites. The assessment is unbiased and utilises a criteria matrix and ‘traffic light’ system to set out potential sites within the parish. The assessment provides unbiased evidence on which sites have scope for further consideration.

‘Locality’ provide this technical assessment for free through independent consultants, AECOM.

What is a Strategic Environmental Assessment?

A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) considers environmental factors such as biodiversity, landscape character, historical environment, air, water and soil quality, and also socio-economic factors. The process helps avoid and mitigate potential negative effects and helps to identify the land and property opportunities available to an NDP for allocation for different land uses.

It is a statutory requirement, and includes consultation with Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency. ‘Locality’ provide this technical assessment for free through independent consultants, AECOM.

What is an Habitats Regulations Assessment?

A Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) considers whether a Plan or proposed development is likely to have a significant effect on the integrity of a protected ‘European Site’, whether alone or in combination with other local Plans or projects. The assessment determines whether the significant effects of proposals on a protected European site can be ruled out on the basis of objective information, or if mitigation is required to make the proposals acceptable.

‘Locality’ provide this technical assessment for free through independent consultants, AECOM.

The result of Brexit does not currently impact HRAs as the protected ‘European Sites’ are integrated into English legislation.

What is a Housing Needs Assessment?

A Housing Needs Assessment (HNA) provides robust, objectively assessed data on local housing need for specific areas. It is just one part of the evidence base and helps an NDP to understand the specific housing requirements of their neighbourhood and to work out the share of wider housing growth an NDP should plan for.

‘Locality’ provide this technical assessment for free through independent consultants, AECOM.

How can I give my views as the plan develops?

Public consultation events happen at key points in the process – it is vital that as many people as possible attend these events and provide feedback on the proposals put forward!

The next public consultation event will set out various site options including different scales and types of land use to suit the Parish’s requirements, for the community’s consideration.

Who can I contact if I want more information?

You can read about the NDP here on this website, and use the Contact Us page to get in touch with the Steering Group and the Working Parties.