Stage 2d - Testing and approving the plan

Once the town or parish is happy with the Neighbourhood Development Plan, it must undergo a formal consultation process in line with the legal requirements of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012. 

Pre- Submission Consultation 

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Before formally submitting the plan to Cornwall Council, the town or parish must carry out a consultation on the draft plan. You will need to:

  • Publicise the plan and where and when it can be viewed;
  • Consult on the draft plan for a six week period;
  • Publicise how to make representatives in response to the plan and the deadline for responses;
  • consult relevant bodies that may be affected by the plan;
  • Submit a copy of the draft plan to the local planning authority.

Once the six week pre-submission consultation on the plan proposal has ended, you will need to collate all of the responses and make any necessary amendments based on the evidence received. Any amendments to the draft plan proposal must be agreed by the neighbourhood plan steering group. 

You can find further information in the pre-submission consultation guide note.

When the town or parish council come to submit the final draft proposal to the local Planning Authority, the formal submission must include:

  • a map or statement identifying the Neighbourhood Plan Area;
  • a statement that explains how the community has been consulted and their views taken into account in forming the Plan (Consultation Statement);
  • a statement explaining how the Plan satisfies relevant legislation (Basic Conditions Statement);
  • the Neighbourhood Plan itself;
  • any relevant supporting documentation/appendices/supplementary documents. 

You can find further information on the formal submission checklist, basic conditions statement and the consultation statement guide notes.

When the draft neighbourhood development plan meets the conditions set out in the legislation, the local Planning Authority can publicize the draft plan proposal. A consultation is undertaken for a minimum of six weeks inviting representations from local residents, community groups, businesses, statutory consultation bodies and other organisation before the plan is submitted for examination by an independent examiner. 

Cornwall Council will carry out checks on the plan and then publicise the proposed plan and associated documents for a six week consultation period, inviting representations from local residents, community groups, businesses, statutory consultation bodies and other organisations. An independent examiner is identified to carry out an examination of the draft plan and provide an examiner's report making recommendations which will then be published.   

It might be necessary to make further changes to the Neighbourhood Plan depending on the examiner's recommendations. Cornwall Council can take several courses of actions; from declining to consider the Plan through to accepting the Plan without modifications, and they will publish their decision and their reasons. You can find out more information about the Examination stage on the Neighbourhood Planning Examinations and Referendums

Assuming a positive outcome to the processes above, a referendum will be held to formally establish local community support for the plan. If the majority of those voting are in favour of the plan, it will be adopted by Cornwall Council as a formal planning document with substantial influence over planning decisions. You can find out more information on the referendum stage on the Neighbourhood Planning Examinations and Referendums.  

From submitting the plan to Cornwall Council, to referendum we estimate this will take approximately 5 months (assuming all goes smoothly). Refer to the Project Plan Template for further explanation of components of the 5 months.

To have reached this point in the process is a very considerable achievement and a very just cause for local celebration!

Next - Stage 3 - Delivering and monitoring the plan

Previous - Stage 2c - Writing the policies