What is a neighbourhood plan?
Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. It enables us to choose where we want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have our say on what they should look like and what infrastructure should be provided.
Diss is working in partnership with seven local parishes to create a joint Neighbourhood Plan that will benefit all of us. The aim is to ensure that future development has a positive outcome for our communities. Once adopted, the Neighbourhood Plan would become the main planning policy document against which all future planning applications in the area would be considered. Click here to view the main Neighbourhood Planning website.
Why are the Parishes working together?
The smaller parishes would like to have a say about where and how development happens in their areas, but felt they couldn’t each develop a Neighbourhood Plan on their own.
The villages look to Diss for most of their services, shops and traders and for employment and public transport. Diss in turn can only thrive with the support of those living in the surrounding area. By working together, the local community can create a plan for the whole area that will benefit all of us.
What is the role of the community in the neighbourhood plan?
The community should be the lead in developing the plan. When submitting the plan, we have to be able to demonstrate how the local community have been engaged. We want to be able to say that the local community were more than just engaged- that they helped develop the plan!
How much will it cost?
That depends on how much professional support we need to buy in. However, Diss Town Council has earmarked £10,000 and other parish councils will contribute what they can, which may be in-kind costs such as venue hire. Government grant funding is available- up to £9,000 for a standard plan with a further £6,000 for a complex plan (which this is). Technical support can also be provided in addition to funding. This current funding is ending soon with announcements about future funding awaited.
We have to be clear about what we need the money for and be able to spend it within a fairly short period of time.
How long will it take?
Experience tells us that a basic plan takes about two years to develop. We have identified that this is probably one of the most complex plans in the country because we are multiple parishes working across two Local Planning Authorities and within two County Council areas. We therefore anticipate that it is likely to take around three years.
The Diss & District Neighbourhood Plan Area was formally designated by the local planning authorities on 23rd August 2017. All the relevant documents are included in the section below.
How can I get involved?
There are numerous ways to get involved. No special planning skills are required. Some suggestions are:
- talking about it – to friends, family, groups you’re involved with.
- chairman – somebody to lead the process.
- Note taker – at meetings so we have a record.
- Meeting organiser(s) – booking venues, organising refreshments, setting up, making sure the right people are in the right place at the right time.
- Social media/marketing – getting the message out there, keeping people informed, encouraging them to comment/attend/engage.
- Delivering leaflets – either in your local area, to identified organisations, stakeholders and partners or a group that you’re involved with.
- Working in a group to gather evidence about something you feel passionate about. Eg: Healthcare, sports facilities, education, local environment, the River Waveney, future retail development, traffic and transport.
If you know someone with specialist skills that would benefit the plan, please let us know – we would love to hear from you!
Find out more about Neighbourhood Planning below, or visit the Diss & District Neighbourhood Planning Website for the latest news and updates.
See below to view the Application Responses: