PRESS RELEASE: APRIL 2020
Designation of Wymondham Neighbourhood Area
The Town Council is pleased to report that South Norfolk Council has confirmed the designation of Wymondham as a Neighbourhood Area. This means that the Town Council is now able to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for its area. The application and a map showing the area can be viewed on the South Norfolk Council website.
Neighbourhood Plans were introduced in 2011 by the Localism Act. They give communities an opportunity to have a genuine say about the future of their area. Many Parishes across Norfolk have already taken the opportunity to prepare Plans for their patch and there are some fantastic examples out there of what creative Plans can do.
Responsibility for preparing a Neighbourhood Plan in this case rests with Town Council who will be pulling together a team of stakeholders and community representatives over the next few weeks to help develop the Plan. Recognising the current Government guidance around COVID-19, for the time being work is limited to start-up preparations and background research. There will be numerous ways for the community to get involved in due course via exhibitions and public consultation which are central to preparing a plan but we will only look to organise these when the Government guidance changes and it becomes appropriate to do so.
Once a Neighbourhood Plan is adopted it forms part of the wider Development Plan which means it must be taken into account when assessing planning applications for new development in that area. Unlike other non-statutory documents that may have been prepared in the past, this means it has genuine weight to influence change. Neighbourhood Plans cannot be used to block development or deviate significantly from adopted strategic policy; but what they can do is help to ensure the local views are genuinely reflected in planning policy and that the local character and individuality of places such as Wymondham are represented.
Preparing a Plan from start to finish is likely to take over a year. We will be updating the community about key steps in the process and how and when everyone can get involved in due course. In the meantime, keep an eye on the town notice boards and the Town Council website https://www.wymondhamtowncouncil.org/ for further updates and information.