The coalition government has launched a localism agenda, a key element of which is the ability for local community groups to have much more say about what happens in their area by producing a Neighbourhood Plan (NP). It is not compulsory to produce an NP. If no NP exists for an area, then all the planning for that area will be carried out by the local planning authority (in our case Suffolk Coastal District Council). If an NP is produced then planning decisions will need to take into account what is contained in the NP. An NP has legal weight, and for this reason the process for producing one has to go through a number of specific stages, including a review by an independent Planning Inspector and then a referendum.
WHAT CAN A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN DO FOR MARTLESHAM ?
The one thing it cannot do is stop the allocation of the BT site for building up to 2000 homes of the next 15 -17 years. That is a strategic site defined in the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan.
However the sort of things we believe we can do with a Neighbourhood Plan are -