How does it work?

At its centre is the involvement of the community – finding out the issues of concern, getting a wide range of views, giving opportunities for people to have their say. Then, once options have been developed into proposals and policies, there is a formal community consultation period, an independent examination and then a referendum to seek approval for the adoption of the plan

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Step 1 - Spread the word and get community input

Neighbourhood Plans belong to their communities. To make a good plan Portishead needs lots of involvement from the public, telling us what's good about the town and what they want it to be like in 20 years. Please talk about this with family, friends and organisations you know, and let us know your thoughts.

Step 2 - Raise & discuss issues and then draft plans

Housing, open spaces, facilities, our heritage, the environment, jobs, shops and transport are all the kinds of issues a Neighbourhood Plan can address. In this stage we need to decide what is important, work out what we would like to do and turn our ideas into draft plans for discussion.

Step 3 - Gather feedback from the community

This is ongoing throughout the process, right from the start when the residents are made aware of the intention to produce a plan. It carries on through engagement about the issues then consultation on more detailed ideas when the plan is taking shape. Feedback can be obtained through meetings, newsletters, social media, surveys – whatever it takes to gather people's views.

Step 4 - Submit the plan

This is where it gets formal. Once Portishead Council have prepared the neighbourhood plan, consulted with the community on draft policies and proposals, and made any subsequent amendments, the plan is submitted to North Somerset Council. It will then be externally assessed and, if it passes, it will be put before the people of Portishead in a referendum. If they approve, it will officially shape plans for the town's future.