Neighbourhood Planning support: latest news
Press release: 2 September 2016
The Government has today published the summary of responses and government response to the neighbourhood planning chapter of the 'Technical consultation on implementation of planning changes – Feb 2016'. The document published today sets out how the Government will implement, via regulations, the commitments made during the passage of the Housing and Planning Act. See https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/implementation-of-planning-changes-technical-consultation
These reforms, to be implemented through regulations due to come into force on 1 October, are part of a wider set of planned improvements that will help more communities that want to take up neighbourhood planning to do so, and ensure individual neighbourhood plans and Orders can complete more quickly.
Broadly the new regulations will cover – the process for designating a neighbourhood area; time periods for designating a neighbourhood forum; time periods for key local authority decisions following receipt of the examiner's report on a neighbourhood plan; and a procedure for the rare cases where the Secretary of State may intervene to send a plan to referendum at the request of a qualifying body. We expect to update national planning guidance when the new regulations take effect.
Press release 17 February 2015: RTPI part of winning Neighbourhood Planning bid
Neighbourhood Planning guidance
Simplified and accessible national planning practice guidance is now available through this online resource. It includes a section on neighbourhood planning.
The government intends that the user friendly format will make planning guidance more accessible and will make it easier to keep up to date.
How is Planning Aid England supporting communities engaged in Neighbourhood Planning?
Neighbourhood planning is not a new concept and Planning Aid England has over 40 years of experience in working with communities to help them define their areas and have a meaningful say in the planning system.
However, the neighbourhood planning powers offered under the Localism Act mean that communities have much more influence than they had previously as they write the policies rather than commenting on those that have been written by others.
Until recently we've been working directly with a number of groups to help them develop neighbourhood plans which, once made, will form part of the development plan for the area. Our volunteers have helped groups create and progress their neighbourhood plan, explaining the process and what can be achieved - see case studies. This work is now changing as a result of a new funding arrangements from Department of Communities and Local Government.
From now on Planning Aid England will support neighbourbood planning through the development of web based guidance and templates, based on our expertise and hands-on experience gained in the last few years. Local groups who need guidance throughout the process will be able to access professional planning advice from the private sector with the help of government funding.
Planning Aid England will continue to help local communities to engage with the planning process and influence decisions that affect their local area through Planning Aid Direct and our Advice service.
Find out more
We have a number of case studies of our work along with some neighbourhood planning briefing notes. We also have our Forum for Neighbourhood Planning which has news, events, resources and discussion forums for all those involved in neighbourhood planning, and a free, monthly e-bulletin, Up Front. Sign up to receive Up Front. Planning Aid England has also published a comprehensive suite of resources to assist groups in the development of their neighbourhood plan. These resources for neighbourhood planning: putting the pieces together can be accessed here.
How Planning Aid England can help
If you have a general query on neighbourhood planning or any other planning related matter you can call email our national advice line at firstname.lastname@example.org or see our Planning Aid Direct web resource.