Neighbourhood planning gives communities a chance to take the lead in producing part of the development plan for their area – a Neighbourhood Plan is a legal document and must be used when deciding on planning applications.
The rules around planning and development have changed. There is increased pressure to develop more housing across the country and national planning policy is generally in favour of sustainable development. Dover District Council is responsible for deciding on overall levels of development and granting legal planning permissions for Dover Town as well as in Deal, Sandwich and the rural parishes in the Dover area. The Town Council comments on all Planning Applications in the Town but has no powers to prevent poor quality development such as conversions of large properties into too many tiny flats that are primarily aimed at making profit for the developer.
A Neighbourhood Plan for Dover Town will contribute to decision making and help make sure that future development is
- vibrant, attractive and well designed
- in the public best interest balancing social, economic and environmental considerations
The Town Council will co-ordinate and support the making of the plan but you – the local community – decide what you want for Dover. People with passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of the Town can make a real difference and change things for the better.
Making a Neighbourhood Plan needs everyone to contribute their ideas, hopes and vision for Dover – so the process gives plenty of time and opportunity for everyone to get involved.
As a first stage a Steering Group of local voluntary organisations, businesses and public service providers will get the ball rolling. The main bulk of the work – public consultation and gathering information and evidence will start this autumn. At the end of the process the Plan will be examined independently by a Planning Inspector and then put to the vote in a local referendum to be absolutely sure that it says what you – the people of Dover – want it to say.