One of the tests set out for producing a legally compliant Neighbourhood Plan is for it to be ‘in general conformity with the strategic policies of the Local Plan’ (in this case the Local Development Framework - LDF). Neighbourhood Plans would take precedence over the LDF but should ‘not promote less development than the LDF or undermine its strategic policies’.
Hambleton has a defined settlement hierarchy, comprising Service Centres, Service Villages, Secondary Villages and Other Settlements (see the Core Strategy page 27). A Neighbourhood Plan for Service Centres or Service Villages would generally be supported; however settlements at Secondary Village level and below would have to undergo appropriate evidence gathering to prove that exceptional circumstances exist. This evidence must demonstrate 'a wider community based need' and should not be limited to an individual or a small number of individuals.
Development in these circumstances would have to show a social and economic regeneration purpose, not just one, and mechanisms would be required to ensure that both the social and economic benefits are achieved. Such evidence should be provided as early as possible in the process to prevent abortive work.
The Council therefore supports the principle of Town and Parish Councils preparing Neighbourhood Plans for all settlements in the LDF settlement hierarchy at Service VIlalge level and above and below this level if they can prove exceptional local circumstances relating to the wider community needs.