Baldock, Bygrave & Clothall Neighbourhood Plan - Submission Version

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Using the Neighbourhood Plan

The first part of the plan - 'setting the scene' - provides a brief overview of the Neighbourhood Area as it is today, and some of the key changes that are likely to happen in future, as background for the policies that follow.

The planning policies themselves are the key statements that will be used in future to inform proposals for development and make decisions about them. The Neighbourhood Plan will form part of the statutory 'development plan' for the area that it covers, alongside the new North Hertfordshire Local Plan once it is adopted. The law requires decisions on planning applications to be made in line with the development plan unless other 'material considerations' indicate otherwise.

The planning policies are divided into three groups:

  • some general policies that apply to the whole of the Neighbourhood Area or particular parts of it (these general policies are prefixed 'G');
  • policies for the sites proposed for development at the edge of Baldock in the new North Hertfordshire Local Plan (prefixed 'E'); and
  • policies for the villages within the Neighbourhood Area (Bygrave, Clothall and Luffenhall) – prefixed 'V'.

Each policy is supported by some text that explains the reasons for it. The policies apply to applications for reserved matters consent as well as planning permission, where relevant.

The policies in the Neighbourhood Plan should not be read in isolation. The plan supplements the policies that will be contained in the new North Hertfordshire Local Plan, so the two will need to be looked at together when considering development proposals within the Neighbourhood Area[1].Where individual policies in the Neighbourhood Plan express support for particular types of development proposal, it is subject to those proposals also being considered against other policies in the development plan taken as a whole.

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Alongside its policies, the Neighbourhood Plan contains some important Design Guidelines that development on key sites will be expected to follow. These are referenced in policy G3, and set out fully in a separate document that accompanies the Neighbourhood Plan. These guidelines form an intrinsic part of the Neighbourhood Plan and should therefore be taken into account when considering relevant development proposals.

There are limits to what a neighbourhood plan can cover: its policies must relate to things that can be dealt with through the planning system, rather than other public services or commercial decisions. However, the process of producing the plan has inevitably identified some wider issues that the community would like to see considered. These are recorded in the evidence report that accompanies the plan, which has been brought to the attention of the District and County Councils.

[1] Once the new North Hertfordshire Local Plan is adopted. In the meantime, 'saved' policies from the District Local Plan No.2 With Alterations, dating from 1996, remain part of the development plan.

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