At Plan-et, one of our main sources of updates and information are the Planning Barristers at Landmark Chambers. One of their number, Christopher (Kit Kat) Katkowski, QC joined the Government's Task Force developing the ideas for the new White Paper. Asked what his vision of the new planning regime is he replied:
"The vision is to create an efficient, inclusive and accessible planning system in which everyone can contribute to making the area in which they live, somewhere they can have pride in; where no-one's excluded and where everyone can understand what's going on and play a worthwhile part in getting things right."
To us at Plan-et, that sounds like "Neighbourhood Planning"
DLUHC have announced the continuation of grant and technical support for Neighbourhood Plans for another year into 2024. So get those grant applications in as soon as you can! Here is the link to save you searching for it!
Launch of Pilots
The government has launched two pilot schemes to encourage more people in urban and deprived areas in England to engage with the planning system.
The trials, involving the simplification of neighbourhood planning, are intended to offer communities the power to shape development in their area, such as where homes, shops and offices should be located and what infrastructure is required.
Housing minister Christopher Pincher said: “Local people know their areas best and by getting involved in neighbourhood planning, they can properly influence future development in their communities.
“Through these pilots, we are giving more people, and particularly those from under-represented areas, the tools they need to influence decisions that affect their lives.”
Up to £45,000 has been allocated to seven areas as part of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) pilot schemes.
According to the government, less than 7 per cent of existing plans are in the most deprived areas and only 5 per cent are in urban areas.
So £50,000 from the Bidding Fund for Local Planning Authorities in Underrepresented Areas has been awarded to four councils for initiatives that provide additional support to residents to produce a neighbourhood plan.
Both schemes, said the government, support its aims to level up the country by empowering communities through local decision-making.
More than 1,200 communities in England have completed a neighbourhood plan, and more than 2,800 have begun the process.
Learning and Development Services at Planet
With the relaxation of Covid rules we are once again now able to offer our first free consultation with your Parish / Town Council or Steering However, during Covid we have had many of these explanatory meetings using ZOOM and have found them to be extremely successful. So if you would like this opportunity to find out about Neighbourhood Plans, and want to ask questions we are continuing to offer this service through a Zoom meeting if you feel it is appropriate for your group. AND, the bonus to you is, where we used to ask for a contribution towards our travel, you will no longer have this cost!
You can find more information relating to Covid 19 and Neighbourhood Plans on our page COVID 19
Grant Update Feb 2022
The finding window for 2021 / 2022 has closed for the time being. This usually re-opens in April, and we will update you with the most recent information when it is available.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN A TIME OF COVID
Covid 19 has changed the way engagement in the community can take place in order to produce your Neighbourhood Plan.
It has meant Steering Groups need to become more creative in the way they seek input from residents on all the aspects of the Plan.
The use of technology is, of course, one way of achieving this, however it is also important to make sure those without access to this method are not excluded.
At Plan-et we are working with Steering Groups to help them find the most appropriate and safe methods in their communities.
This ranges from setting up small focus groups to having static displays in empty shops / and still accessible publec spaces.
If you are struggling to come up with ideas for your community, contact us for help.
Contact Plan-et to find out how we can help you with any stage of your neighbourhood planning process.
We are nationwide and are currently working with neighbourhood planning groups in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cumbria, Somerset and Devon