To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what guidance his Department provides to local authorities on how to take into account a neighbourhood planning process being underway when considering making their own applications for housing on sites that will be affected by that neighbourhood plan.
The procedures for dealing with development by local authorities are contained in the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992. A local authority’s development proposals, like those of other persons applying for planning permission, must be decided in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
Once brought into force, a neighbourhood plan becomes part of the development plan for the area; an emerging neighbourhood plan may be a material consideration. The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that the weight of emerging plan policies will depend on the stage of the plan, the extent of unresolved objections and the degree of consistency with national policy. It is for the decision maker in each case to determine what is a material consideration and what weight to give to it.