One way forward is to widen the circle of neighbours to encompass the whole neighbourhood. This dilutes the impact of any one awkward individual and takes some of the personal ‘heat’ out of the situation. It can help to raise the discussion from a pitched battle between individuals to the question, “What is in the interests of the local community?”
In many areas there is a Neighbourhood Plan that helps define the wider community interest. This provides an independent and balanced view, helping to raise the discussion above petty neighbour squabbles.
A Neighbourhood Plan usually covers the whole of the Parish and covers the aspirations and priorities of the local community. Details can usually be found on your local Parish Council website. Most Neighbourhood Plans acknowledge the need for housing to meet local needs, for good quality design and for investment in the local area – all angles that might help you persuade others that your proposals help rather than hinder local priorities.
If your area does not have a Neighbourhood Plan in place, there may instead be a Parish Plan in place. A Parish Plan is an action plan, but it can be used to identify the agreed priorities of the local community. A Neighbourhood Plan is a more formal document that forms part of the statutory Development Plan for the area, and has to be taken into account in dealing with planning applications.
To find out more about Neighbourhood Plans, please contact Berry’s expert Helen Howie on 07741 313576 or email Helen.Howie@berrys.uk.com.