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Localism and Neighbourhood Planning David Buxton Department for Communities and Local Government.

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Presentation on theme: "Localism and Neighbourhood Planning David Buxton Department for Communities and Local Government."— Presentation transcript:

1 Localism and Neighbourhood Planning David Buxton Department for Communities and Local Government

2 Decentralisation and localism at the heart of the coalition “We believe that if you decentralise power, you get better results and better value for money. So… an unprecedented redistribution of power and control from the central to the local, from politicians and the bureaucracy to individuals, families and neighbourhoods.” (Conservative manifesto) “Liberal Democrats believe local people know best about how things should be done in their area. We will radically decentralise politics so that local people have the powers and the funding to deliver what they want for their communities.” (Liberal Democrat manifesto) “… a radical redistribution of power away from Westminster and Whitehall to councils, communities and homes across the nation... …we want people to call the shots over the decisions that affect their lives.” “…create a Big Society matched by big citizens… to completely recast the relationship between people and the state: citizens empowered; individual opportunity extended; communities coming together to make lives better.” (The Coalition Programme for Government)

3 Definitions Is the ethos… Doing everything at the lowest possible level and only involving central government if absolutely necessary Is what we do… Giving away power to individuals, professionals, communities and local institutions Is what we’re trying to achieve… A society where people, neighbourhoods and communities have more power and responsibility and use it to create better services and outcomes. Localism Decentralisation Big Society

4 From BIG GOVERNMENTTo BIG SOCIETY State Citizens Civic institutions Citizens Civic institutions State Decentralisation What does this mean for government?

5 The Big Society vision Principles Values Freedom Frameworks that support social responsibility and civil liberties Fairness Those who cannot, we always help Responsibility Those who can, do Social action What people can do for each other Community empowerment How people can help themselves Public service reform What the state can do for people A Big Society matched by Big Citizens “The Big Society is about a huge culture change where people, in their everyday lives….feel both free and powerful enough to help themselves and their own communities” David Cameron, 19 July Methods DecentralisationTransparencyProviding finance

6 Making it easier for citizens to take over public buildings so they have the SPACE to come together and share ideas Helping communities to raise their own FUNDS and increase capacity, particularly in deprived neighbourhoods Freeing up LOCAL INSTITUTIONS from unnecessary burdens and control and enabling them to support grassroots action Enabling citizens to see how money is being spent in their neighbourhood, providing INFORMATION AND INFLUENCE to set priorities, participate in key decisions and co-design services What’s Govt’s role in making it happen? The challenge for any government is how to help communities to help themselves – to support rather than stifle grassroots community action

7 Why decentralisation? People and communities have greater control over the services in their locality Diversity in local approaches releases innovation in public services – speed and resilience People can hold local services and institutions to account more effectively than Whitehall Front line professionals respond to local preferences, with fewer constraints from the centre So that:

8 The 6 components of Decentralisation Big Government Big Society

9 Localism Bill: Exemplification of Components Remove bureaucratic burdens Standards Board Local Govt structures Abolish Reg. Strategies Empower communities GPC Community Assets Local referendums N’hood Plans Break open monopolies Right to Challenge Homeswap Make public bodies transparent Local Govt pay accountability Remove Bureaucratic Burdens Elected Mayors Freedom of councillors to represent constituents Abolish IPC Control of public spending Council tax referendums Business rate supplements Business rate discounts

10 For the Big Society to flourish, people need power. New rights will help them reclaim that power Right to buy (save) – helping communities save local facilities and services threatened with closure Right to Challenge – giving communities the right to bid to take over local state-run services Right to Build – allowing communities to decide where to create new homes, shops, businesses and facilities where they want them and where they are needed Localism Bill – new rights

11 Give neighbourhoods far more ability to determine the shape of the places in which people live. Empower communities to take control of their areas. Community ownership of the process. Inspire innovation and creativity in communities. Restore the idea that development can be a force for good, rather than something to be resisted at all costs. Community right to build – exploring ways of enabling small scale community development. Basic Principles: Planning at neighbourhood level

12 Neighbourhood Planning -Opportunities Business Park - Covered by development order for commercial development. Gives full planning permission for compliant development Victorian Suburb - Covered by development order for householders (extensions, etc) and infill development - no application required for compliant development. Town Centre Shopping Area - Covered by development order for shop fronts and certain types of change of use. No application required for compliant development. Conservation Area - Neighbourhood plan sets out detailed town policies – planning applications required and policies taken into account Proposed Housing 1 and 2 - Covered by development order for new housing. Gives outline permission – proposed development needs approval for landscaping and design Proposed Housing 3 - Covered by development order for new housing. No planning application required for compliant development. No conditions applied. Country Park -Neighbourhood plan sets out policies which envisage no development. Areas Unspecified - Neighbourhood plan does not set out any policies or permissions. Planning applications are determined based on Strategic Plan policies and national policy Business Park Proposed Housing 1 Proposed Housing 2 Proposed Housing 3 Country Park Town Centre Shopping Area Conservation Area Victorian Suburb Barchester Town MORE INVOLVEMENT > MORE LOCAL CONTROL > MORE DEVELOPMENT

13 Neighbourhood Planning - Safeguards Regard to national policy (e.g. NPPF) and guidance General conformity with ‘strategic policies’ in local plan Compatible with EU obligations Compatible with human rights requirements Working within Limits – the “basic conditions”

14 How is the Neighbourhood Plan prepared ? Plan prepared by local communities with council providing support and advice Examined by independent examiner considering fit with local development plan, national policy and alignment with other neighbouring plans – leading to non-binding report Extensive community engagement Neighbourhood Plan Adopted by local authority Process instigated by parish council or Neighbourhood Forum Referendum seeking adoption. Simple majority in favour to progress to adoption Proceed to referendum Legal Compliance Neighbourhood plans must comply with a number of EU Directives (e.g. Environmental Impact Assessment, Habitats Directive) and ECHR. Local Authority Support Local Authorities must provide support and advice to parishes or forums preparing a plan. Referendum Referendum area can be wider than neighbourhood – if proposals impact on others

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