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In the autumn of 2017, St Nicholas Hurst Parish Council decided that a Neighbourhood Plan should be developed.

The Parish Council established a Neighbourhood Plan Project Team to oversee the development of the Plan. The project team is comprised of parish councillors and other independent local volunteers.

The essence of the neighbourhood planning process is that it should result in a Plan which is produced by the local community, is entirely based upon views submitted by the community and, ultimately, is approved in a referendum by the community.

What is Neighbourhood Planning?

The Localism Act of 2011 seeks to devolve more powers to Town and Parish Councils, following consultation with local residents, to produce plans for the future.

Neighbourhood planning gives all communities (such as Hurst) direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and to shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to influence where new homes, shops and offices should be built, what those buildings should look like and what associated infrastructure should be provided.

Neighbourhood planning helps local people ensure that they get the right types of development for their community with the aim of balancing the needs of the neighbourhood in line with the priorities of the wider local area. It is not a legal requirement but a right which communities in England can choose to use.

It should be appreciated that Hurst’s Neighbourhood Plan has to work within the constraints laid down by the Wokingham Borough Local Plan (WBLP).