The Localism Act 2011 gave new powers to neighbourhood groups to draw up neighbourhood plans for their area. Outside London, it is parish councils which are making most use of these powers.
A local community organisation can seek designation as a ‘neighbourhood forum’ and use the same powers under the Act to put together a neighbourhood plan for their area. As of autumn 2016 there are around 100 areas in London working on neighbourhood plans.
Progress on neighbourhood planning has been slower in London than in more rural areas. While there are now over 200 plans which have succeeded at referendum across England only five of these are in London. The StQW Neighbourhood Plan is one of these..
This means that planning applications within the StQW neighbourhood area are assessed against the policies in the StQW Plan as well as those in the Borough’s Consolidated Local Plan. The StQW policies take precedence where there is any conflict between the two.