Peasmarsh Neighbourhood Development Plan 2021-39

Introduction to Neighbourhood Development Plans

Neighbourhood Development Plans were introduced by Westminster in 2011 to devolve more decision-making powers from central government back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils :

“Instead of local people being told what to do, the Government thinks that local communities should have genuine opportunities to influence the future of the places where they live. The Act introduces a new right for communities to draw up a neighbourhood plan."

Neighbourhood Development Plans are essentially land usage plans, justifying what land must be protected, what land might be developed and setting aside some of that for particular purposes such as a doctor's surgery. Having an NDP would therefore give us, the local community of Peasmarsh, a genuine opportunity to input to and shape the future of our village. For example, we would have a say in where development sites were to be located rather than third parties such as prospective developers doing so purely in their own interests. However, it would not allow us to block all developments, we have to accept that some development is essential. In addition, our Plan has to be in “general conformity” with RDC's Core Strategy.

It is also important to note what NDP's are not :

  • they are not a chance to stop all development;
  • they are not about small scale development; [you can still extend your house or build a new one]
  • they are not vehicles for criticising planners;
  • they are not retrospective; [for instance, our Plan cannot have the Pippins site undesignated]
  • they are not an opportunity for NIMBY’s;

The keys to Neighbourhood Development Plans are that they are the result of local democracy in action and, once accepted, have legal standing. Everyone in the parish is entitled to have a say. Once our Plan is agreed among us, it is subject to both an independent examination and a parish referendum – needing to receive 50% or more of vote share. If accepted and ratified by a referendum, our NDP would become part of the 'Local Development Framework' and have legal weight as a statutory planning document.

There would also be financial benefits for Peasmarsh. Once we have an NDP, more of what is called the 'community infrastructure levy' charged to developers would come to Peasmarsh for projects and we would have a say in what those projects would be.

In general, NDP's should match the planning cycle of the district in which the village belongs. As it happens, Rother has recently started on a new planning cycle which will cover the period 2019 to 2039. We have therefore opted to make our Plan to match that as far as possible [although we cannot have a start date before starting to create the Plan].

If you want to see what a finished NDP looks like, several of Rother's parishes already have them in place. For example :