Neighbourhood Plan

Formal ‘making’ of the Seaton Valley Neighbourhood Plan

Following the successful referendum, the Seaton Valley Neighbourhood Plan was formally ‘made’ at a meeting of the County Council’s Cabinet on 7 September 2021.

Now that the neighbourhood plan is formally ‘made’, it becomes part of the statutory development plan. Consequently, decisions on whether or not to grant planning permission in the Seaton Valley Neighbourhood Area will need to be made in accordance with the plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

A decision statement confirming that the Plan has been made and brought into legal force has now been published. This is available via the link below:

Decision Statement
The made versions of the Seaton Valley Neighbourhood Plan and policies maps can be viewed by clicking on the links below:


Result of Referendum

The Referendum was held on the Seaton Valley Neighbourhood Plan on the 29 July 2021.  The Declaration of Result is below:

Declaration of Result


What have we done to develop the Seaton Valley Neighbourhood Plan?

Informed by the feedback from the local community that we received during February and March 2020 we prepared a Draft Neighbourhood Plan.  The focus of the plan was to protect the green and open spaces in our villages.

Further consultation on the Draft Neighbourhood Plan was held between September and November 2020.

We received many positive remarks on the plans to protect our allocated local green space and protected open space within our villages as well as suggestions for other areas to include in the plan.  Following the consultation we have amended the plan, where necessary, to take into account the comments that we received.

A Submission Draft Plan was sent to the County Council in January 2021 along with the other supporting documents and maps.

The publicity period for the Submission Draft Neighbourhood Plan ended on Wednesday 31 March 2021. Tim Jones was appointed to carry out the independent examination of the draft Plan.

The Independent Examiner recommended in May 2021 that the modified Neighbourhood Plan proceed to a referendum.

What is neighbourhood planning?

Since 2011 the Government has allowed communities to produce neighbourhood plans for their local area.  The process of preparing a plan enables people living and working in an area to guide where and how future development happens.  Plans are prepared by the local community, through their town or parish council, rather than being prepared by Northumberland County Council.

Neighbourhood plans can help deliver the types of development that local people would like to see in their community and are used to make decisions on planning applications.

There are five main stages to developing a Neighbourhood Plan:

  1. Area Designation
  2. Preparing the Neighbourhood Plan
  3. Submitting the Plan to the County Council
  4. Independent Examination
  5. Referendum

Information on how we developed our plan is set out further down the page.

There is more information about Neighbourhood Planning is available on the County Council website – Neighbourhood Planning