Answer: Through the Localism Act, which became an Act of Parliament on 15th November 2011, the government is giving local communities more power to influence the future of the places they live by preparing Neighbourhood Plans.
Neighbourhood Plans can establish a vision for an area as well as general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood. They should be about local rather than strategic issues. For example they could cover where new shops, offices or homes should go and which green spaces should be protected or other planning related issues.
Neighbourhood Plans should be focused on guiding development rather than stopping it. They also have to be in line with national policy and the Council’s local planning policies. Once adopted they will become part of the statutory planning framework and be used to guide decisions on planning applications.