Thorne & Moorends Neighbourhood Plan
“Giving communities more power in planning local development”
The power to allow local communities to prepare Neighbourhood Plans was only recently introduced. It is aimed at increasing the amount of community involvement in planning policies and decisions so that they better meet the needs of the local community.
In areas where there is a Town or Parish Council the process must be led by that Council, but there must be extensive community involvement.
A Neighbourhood Plan can establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood, like:
- where new homes should be built
- where and which businesses should be attracted
- where community facilities should be built
- what they should look like
The plan can be detailed or general, depending what local people want.
There have been numerous challenges along the way to developing the Plan for Thorne and Moorends, many of which have been unique in scale compared to other communities across the country (i.e. Flood Risk) but we are now approaching the end of the process, which will see that future planning is in accordance with the want of the community.
What Happens Next?
“People should be involved in local planning & development decisions that affect them”
For a number of months, there has been widespread consultation with local residents and businesses about what they want in the Town, and how it should be developed in the future. As a result, the Town Council has produced a document, A Neighbourhood plan, which is now in its final stages. Over the next 6 months, the Neighbourhood Plan passes through its final 6 months of public consultation.
The plan will then be subject to an independent review, and finally a community referendum – a vote taken by the community to decide whether the Neighbourhood Plan should be accepted. If accepted, the Plan becomes binding upon Planning Authorities including Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and will dictate development in our area.
“We want people to be able to influence decisions about new & modified buildings & facilities in their area.”
The Neighbourhood Plan will have to take into account of Doncaster MBC’s assessment of housing and other development needs in the area. This means that it cannot be used to stop development, but can identify new opportunities, and can consider issues at a more local level.
The Plan can identify sites for development and new facilities. It does not bring any new resources, and cannot guarantee that schemes will proceed.
Doncaster MBC have produced a new set of documents that provide a framework for development in Thorne and Moorends;
- Core Strategy – high level policies – approved
- Sites and Policies – provides more detailed allocations for individual sites
These are Doncaster wide documents, so the level of detail and the level of community involvement in Thorne and Moorends is limited.
The Neighbourhood Plan offers meaningful local involvement, and can consider issues that have minimal coverage in the existing documents such as sports and community facilities.
The Neighbourhood Plan should also give the Council and the local community a much greater say in how community funding that results from new developments is to be used.
The Town Council have worked with many keen members of the community for the purpose of developing the ideas and the plan itself, which has included working groups like the Moorends Welfare Ground Working Group, pictured.