Benefits of Neighbourhood Plans Statutory status – greater influence over planning decisions. Focus on neighbourhood rather than district Can modify Local Plan policy. Community-led. Possible influence on other council activities. Opportunity to specify which sites will be developed. Begins a dialogue with a range of organisations. Can encourage community projects and self-build initiatives.
Making the Decision Advantages/Opportunities Resources (Time/Money/Skills) Energy/CommitmentAlternativesSupport Available
Have appropriate regard to national policy. Contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. Be in general conformity with the strategic policies in the development plan for the local area. Be compatible with EU obligations. In addition, NDOs and CRtBOs must have regard to the protection and enhancement of listed buildings and conservation areas. The Basic Conditions
Determining the Area What is a neighbourhood – criteria? Publicise the process Core neighbourhood / optional areas Speak to people in different parts of the area Contact local groups Discuss with local authority Identify clear physical boundaries Consult
Possible Approaches Resident association area(s) High Street/local centre and environs Housing estate Village/settlement University and environs Town centre/City centre Administrative boundaries Conservation area Business park
Getting the Area Designated Submit: map of area statement explaining the area statement on body making application
Business Areas Designated by local authority Area has to be wholly or predominantly business in nature Allows business people to vote in referendum
Qualifying Bodies Town or Parish CouncilNeighbourhood Forum (areas with no parish council) 5 Year duration
Requirements for a Neighbourhood Forum Express purpose of promoting or improving the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of an area that consists of or includes the neighbourhood area concerned Membership open to: People living in the area People working in the area Elected members for the area Minimum of 21 members from above groups Reasonable steps to secure one of each. Membership drawn from different places in the area. Purpose reflects the character of the area in general terms.
Getting the Forum Designated Submit: name of proposed neighbourhood forum; written constitution; name of neighbourhood area and map; contact details one neighbourhood forum member; statement on neighbourhood forum.
Democratic Legitimacy Parish/Town Council Elected Body Election every 4 years on wide range of issues Neighbourhood Forum Self-appointed body Need to reflect diversity, character and inclusivity of area Community Engagement (Broad range of issues and detail) Referendum (Yes/No on entire plan)
Community-led Plans Community Leadership Community Involvement Community Engagement Qualifying Body Partners Key stakeholders Volunteers Wider community
Duty to Support Making data and maps available. Identifying key local strategic policies from the Local Plan. Advising on relevant national policies/guidance Sharing information on key contacts, stakeholders, etc. Making available venues and helping to arrange community engagement activities. Checking the plan prior to formal submission. Providing professional/technical support, such as assistance in laying out and illustrating a plan and writing plan policies. Providing members for neighbourhood forums or more informal working groups. Setting up a neighbourhood planning web page on the local authority’s website.
Why is the Evidence Base Important? Understanding the area Identifying issues Identifying need Identifying trends Identifying pressures Informing policy and proposals Making realistic assumptions
Things You Need to Know Demographic – current and trends Socio-economic data and trends Environmental issues – flooding, air quality, etc. Designations (heritage, landscape, wildlife, etc.) Transport – services, capacity, usage Infrastructure – capacity, fitness for purpose, need Housing – stock (type, tenure, condition), need Land uses, development sites
Building the Evidence Base Proportionate approach Don’t get overwhelmed! Recent and robust Use Local Plan evidence base Seek help Involve other organisations
Existing Evidence The LDF, including core strategy Other local authority plans and strategies Socio-economic data (e.g. census) Technical reports (land, flooding, etc). Transport studies Strategic Housing Market Assessments Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments. Conservation area appraisals Buildings-at-risk surveys and Landscape character studies. Statutory list (listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments) Details of other environmental protection designations (TPOs, SSSIs, etc.) Plans from other public bodies or statutory undertakers. Community plans, parish plans and village design statement. Libraries, archives, web sites.
Neighbourhood-Level Evidence Environmental Place-check Heritage audit Conservation Area Appraisals Local Lists Urban Design Analysis Open space survey & analysis Economic Business surveys Vacancy / floorspace survey Available sites survey Land values Social/Community Housing needs survey Housing condition survey Audit of community facilities Building for Life Assessment Infrastructure Transport linkages Stakeholder engagement (statutory undertakers, schools, etc.) Transport capacity analysis Traffic / pedestrian flow surveys
Why Community Engagement is Important Statutory requirements (including in Localism Act) Developing political consensus Developing the evidence base (front loading) Better informed outcomes (community know their own place best) Realistic and deliverable plans/policies Maintaining public confidence and support Avoiding conflict, delay, cost Democratic deficit
Statutory Requirement Publicise the neighbourhood area (6 weeks) Publicise the neighbourhood forum application (6 weeks) Pre-submission consultation (6 weeks) Submission of plan publicity (6 weeks) Referendum
Local Partnerships Third Sector – disabled, BME, aged, civic, environment, etc. Private Sector – chamber of trade/commerce, etc. Education – School council, university, etc. Public sector – councils, health bodies, etc.
What Not to Do The stand-in-the-library approach The talking at people at a public meeting approach The consultant-producing-options approach The publish-and-defend approach The boring-people-to-a-point-of-unconsciousness approach The people-are-too-stupid approach The outcomes-predetermined approach
Key Points Statutory development plan – about the use and development of land. Parish/community-led – you produce the plan You decide on the scope of the plan Need for a robust and proportionate evidence base and Early and effective community engagement is essential Must meet the Basic Conditions.