The Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that a neighbourhood plan gives communities ‘direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and deliver the sustainable development they need’.

Indeed the golden thread that runs through the NPPF is a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Neighbourhood plans should adhere to this principle.

In preparing its Local Plan, Hart District Council acknowledges over 20 objectives in its Sustainability Appraisal. These include:

  • to encourage increased engagement in cultural activity, leisure, and recreation across all sections of the community
  • to create and sustain vibrant and locally distinctive settlements and communities
  • to protect and enhance the District’s historic environment
  • to protect and enhance the District’s countryside and rural landscape
  • to reduce the risk of flooding
  • to improve accessibility to all services and facilities
  • to improve efficiency of transport networks by enhancing the proportion of travel by sustainable modes and promoting policies which reduce the need to travel
  • to maintain high and stable levels of employment and promote sustainable economic growth and competitiveness

Others are many and diverse: from reducing emissions from greenhouse gases, increasing energy efficiency, improved use of resources, better soil quality. You can read more on this here.