Stage 2d - Testing and approving the plan

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Once the town or parish is happy with the draft Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), it must undergo a formal consultation process. This must be in line with the legal requirements of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (amended). At Regulation 14, the Pre-Submission Consultation can be carried out. You must ensure that:

  • this is the final draft of the Plan
  • the Plan has been screened for Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA)

The plan must be screened by the Council's Neighbourhood Planning Team. This must be done before you can proceed with the consultation. 

Pre- Submission Consultation 

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.

Whilst the consultation is being carried out, you can draft the supporting documents. This will include a basic condtions statement and consultation statement. The documents will need to be formally submitted with the Neighbourhood Plan. 

Once the six week pre-submission consultation on the plan proposal has ended, you will need to collate all of the responses. You will need to 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. 

Many parishes have adapted the way they consult the local community in response to the Covid pandemic. Mylor NDP Steering group have provided a document which sets out how they adapted their consultation. You can view the document here:

Formal submission of the plan

The town or parish council need to submit the final draft proposal to the local Planning Authority. Their 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. (This is the 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. 

For further information please see the following documents:

When the draft NDP 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
  • other organisations

The plan is then submitted for examination by an independent examiner. It is submitted along with the represenations received during the consultation. 

Consideration by Cornwall Council and the independent examiner 

Cornwall Council will carry out checks on the plan once it is formally submitted. A statutory six week consultation period is then organised by the Council on the proposed plan and supporting documents. An independent examiner is identified to carry out an examination of the draft plan. The examiner will provide a report. The examiner's report makes recommendations which will then be published.

It might be necessary to make further changes to the Neighbourhood Plan. This is dependent on the examiner's recommendations. Cornwall Council can take several courses of actions. These range from declining to consider the Plan through to accepting the Plan without modifications. The Council will publish their decision and their reasons. For more information about the Examination stage please read the following page:

Referendum 

Assuming a positive outcome to the processes above, a referendum will be held. This is 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. It will adopted as a formal planning document.  As such it will have substantial influence over planning decisions. For more information on the referendum stage please see the following page:

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

Launch the Plan

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

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