As part of the Coronavirus Act (2020) the government has introduced necessary changes to neighbourhood planning. Firstly, no neighbourhood planning referendums (or indeed any election or referendum) can take place until 6 May 2021. The Government has stated that this will be kept under review and may be amended or revoked in response to changing circumstances.
Secondly, the Government has amended guidance so that neighbourhood plans awaiting referendums can be given significant weight in decision-making. This as the Government states, has been done in response to the first point, as it “understands this will be frustrating for communities that have dedicated significant time and effort to the neighbourhood planning process and naturally want their plans to come into force as soon as possible”.
Locality have produced a FAQ’s page from MCHLG which includes guidance on referendums and public consultation. To access this information visit the Neighbourhood Planning website and view Covid-19 FAQ Notes.