Questions and Answers

Have questions about the Lee Neighbourhood Plan? See if they are answered in our Q&A. If not send us your question and we will add an answer to our Q&A:

What will we get if we vote Yes for the plan?

  • The plan is a new and useful tool for everyone in the community and the councils to use to progress local aspirations.
  • Local councils will make more locally informed planning decisions because they will have detailed maps and guidance about what people want in the Lee Forum area.
  • Councils can take enforcement action if developers don’t follow any planning approval made based on these policies.
  • Local communities will have a document that can be used to attract funding and open up stakeholder engagement in local aspirations.

The plan is long, where can I read a summary?

  • The plan must be written in a particular way to have maximum legal weight.
  • Lee Forum wanted to capture everything that local people said they wanted.
  • The easiest way to understand the plan is to:
  1. Read this one page summary.
  2. If you then want to read more, read the eleven pages of policies.
  3. If you then want to read more, use the contents page of the plan to read sections you’re interested in, paying particular attention to the figures, which map what local people value.
  4. If you decide you then want to read the backing documents, scroll through the Neighbourhood Planning pages of Lee Forum’s website, picking out the links you’re interested in.
  5. If you want to read council’s take on neighbourhood planning, head to Lewisham and Greenwich websites.

How is the Neighbourhood Plan funded?

  • The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) gave Lee Forum £18,000 over 7 years, which has all now been spent.
  • Councils have been paid by the DCLG to fund the referendum.
  • The money was spent on consultants who steered us through the process and gave us specialist skills.
  • Volunteers gave roughly 3 days combined work per week over 7 years and no volunteers have been paid (some volunteers have given money)

Why is there a referendum?

  • The Localism Act 2011 requires that communities vote for neighbourhood plans.
  • The question will be ‘Do you want the London Borough of Lewisham and Royal Borough of Greenwich to use the Neighbourhood Plan for the Lee Neighbourhood Area to help decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’ (Yes/No).

How was Lee Forum’s area arrived at?

  • To become a Forum right at the beginning we had to knock on doors asking if people wanted to be in or out of the area. The boundary reflects what people said.
  • Greenwich Council also wanted us to go up to the edges of its Kidbrooke Development Area so that everyone on that border was in one of the areas.

What are the Quaggy and Hither Green Trails?

  • ‘Trail’ doesn’t have a specific planning meaning and is included as a name. What the trails will look like in the end is to be worked out and will be driven by the community.
  • The examiner removed the Nature Improvement Areas designation but encouraged the community to follow NIA principles to ‘increase green infrastructure and increase opportunities to walk and cycle within the Forum area in the vicinity of the river and railway tracks’.
  • Examples of how the trails may develop are the Waterlink Way; the Hither Green Triangle, Grove Park nature reserve, and aim to link to other green spaces and routes in the southeast London.
  • New rights of way may be created where appropriate/possible. Local green spaces have already received speculative planning applications and others are at risk.
  • Lee Forum are trying to protect local green spaces with a policy under the ‘use it or lose it’ principle.

ls the Neighbourhood Plan anti- development?

  • No. Councils have already allocated sites like Sainsburys and the BMW garage in Lee Green for development; and the owners of these sites can apply to develop them at any time.
  • Neighbourhood planning can’t stop this. Lee Forum are trying to ensure that if and when these sites are redeveloped, that the redevelopment is done in a way the community supports. Neighbourhood planning can do this.
  • In fact, the Lee Neighbourhood Plan has allocated more brownfield sites for development than the councils. In exchange for this the plan expects green and community sites to be protected from development and local heritage to be protected.

Can the plan influence Leegate?

  • The plan couldn’t influence the current plans because Lewisham gave them planning permission last year.
  • The plan could influence new plans if the current plans for Leegate aren’t built (previous delays have been caused by the owner running it down; Asda pulling out, and disputes about affordable housing between Lewisham and the owner)
  • The Lee Neighbourhood Plan can influence plans for Sainsburys and the BMW sites which may well come forward for development in the coming years.

Can Neighbourhood Plans influence Low Traffic Neighbourhoods?

  •  No. Neighbourhood Planning falls under the Localism Act 2011. LTNs fall under different legislation.
  •   Neither Lee Forum nor the referendum can ratify or remove LNTs.
  •  Only councils can implement or remove LTNs and the legal requirement for a vote does not exist for LTNs.

Will the Lee Neighbourhood Plan take away my on-street parking?

  • No, it will not affect existing parking rights
  • If a new development is built on or near your street it will expect developers to provide parking for that development onsite rather than on your street.

The Lee Forum area is shown in the map below: