Neighbourhood plans must be in general conformity with the strategic priorities of the Local Plan.
The examination process for neighbourhood plans differs from the examination process for Local Plans in the following ways.
Neighbourhood Plans are tested against a series of “basic conditions” which include checking the conformity of the plan against national planning policies and the strategic policies for the area set out within the Local Plan. Further information can be accessed here.
If there isn’t an up to date Local Plan, then there is nothing to prevent neighbourhood plans being developed in advance of a new Local Plan or at the same time. Planning Practice Guidance sets out that authorities and neighbourhood groups should work closely together in such instances.
In most cases an Examination for a Neighbourhood Plan will take place through written representations. Public Hearing sessions for a Neighbourhood Plan will only take place where the appointed Examiner identifies a particular issue that needs to be discussed in public. Where Hearings take place they will usually be in the form of a round-table discussion led by the Examiner.
Further advice can be accessed here.