Without a neighbourhood plan, the community will be increasingly susceptible to speculative housing developments. Local Planning Authorities without a 5-year supply of housing may be unable to refuse planning applications even where they conflict with policies in the Local Plan. Moreover, developments that do take place are unlikely to address local housing need at the neighbourhood level and meet specific local requirements such as smaller, more affordable houses and homes for the elderly. The location of any new housing is often important to communities and the opportunity to direct new housing towards the most suitable locations will be missed without a neighbourhood plan in place.
Important local spaces will be vulnerable to development without the added protection offered by a neighbourhood plan and planning applications will be determined according to district/borough-wide, rather than local, priorities. Important local views may be compromised and the potential to establish ‘areas of separation’ to help maintain the character of individual settlements will be lost. Locally important buildings and structures will be treated the same as all other buildings and not afforded the added protection that can come from inclusion on a ‘local list’.
Community facilities will have less protection from a change of use and opportunities will have been missed to identify new services and facilities that the community needs.
Business development may not take into account local circumstances and the need to recognise the impact on issues such as traffic, noise and fumes
Specific locally-important features such as design issues, broadband speeds and specific affordable housing requirements may not be incorporated into development proposals.
Increasingly, as more and more communities undertake a neighbourhood plan, those without one will be targeted by developers who recognise the opportunities that are available.
Perhaps most importantly, choosing not to do a neighbourhood plan misses an opportunity to strengthen local democracy, to shape development in the parish, to engage with a wide range of stakeholders whose services have a direct impact on the community and to take control over matters of importance to local people.