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Presentation on theme: "LOCALISM IN PROTECTED AREAS: SNAKES OR LADDERS? Jeff Bishop."— Presentation transcript:


2 So who am I? My secretary googled my name and…

3 Why am I up here? Invented Village Design Statements – helped lots Helped develop Parish Plans – helped lots Lots of practical projects, including for the AONB Shaping the ‘involvement’ requirements in the 2004 Planning Act Lots of training, practical research and development work Mostly in UK, some overseas (VDS Ireland) Now Localism ….Localism ….Localism! And just formed, with others, ‘The Localism Network’

4 I am going to: Skip through the key ‘ingredients’ of the Localism ‘recipe’ But focus heavily on Neighbourhood Plans Elaborate what is specifically relevant to protected areas Offer my own ‘menu’ for Localism in the Cotswolds AONB Seek your views on some ‘tasters’ for you and others

5 Not just the Localism Bill, also Local Growth etc. Lots in there, some not relevant for today Some key things not mentioned so they stay the same? - Local Development Frameworks (now Local Plans) - Statements of Community Involvement (but ….) - Village Design Statements - Protected Areas (at least in principle) - Conservation Areas The General Context

6 Neighbourhood Plans Neighbourhood Development Orders Community Right to Build New Homes Bonus/Community Infrastructure Levy (Pre-application engagement) Councillors and ‘predetermination’ The key ingredients for you are:

7 Plan-making Development Management Community Right to Build Neighbourhood Development Order New Homes Bonus Community Infr. Levy Neighbourhood Plan Local Plan National Planning Framework (Regional Policy)

8 Plan-making Development Management Community Right to Build Neighbourhood Development Order New Homes Bonus Community Infr. Levy Neighbourhood Plan Local Plan National Planning Framework (Regional Policy) AONB PLAN!

9 Neighbourhood Plans 1 Remember: Developed from Parish Plans and Village Design Statements Frankly, this is all uncertain and ambiguous We were told that “Local people …will be able to specify what kind of development and use of land they want to see in their area” Not true! A Neighbourhood Plan must be “in conformity with” any local plan Anything remotely strategic will not be for Neighbourhood Plans to address Expectations now dashed – I constantly hear things like “we’ve been betrayed”

10 Neighbourhood Plans 2 They will be full, formal additions to the hierarchy of plans And that brings some serious implications with it Standard of research, evidence and argument will be a quantum leap up from Parish Plans A serious challenge to the skills and voluntary time from communities Example a few years ago of a quantum leap in demands on communities that almost stopped VDS work dead Examination: light touch, not a civil servant… so are they real plans?

11 But Who, How Many, What If Not? ??????NP LOCAL PLAN

12 Neighbourhood Plan Content Open Space PARISH PLAN EducationHousing(Land Use)Community Statutory Land Use

13 Democracy and Engagement On Neighbourhood Plans A Parish or Town – ie. The Council – the basic building block Can take parts or combine areas Must be agreed with the planning authority But what of those left out? Is that good enough? What if others object? How about requiring a ‘Quality Council’ before starting a Plan? Requirements and standards for engagement? Then the referendum …

14 Referendum Area for Neighbourhood Plans

15 Resources for Neighbourhood Plans There are 282 parish/town councils in the AONB Government estimates costs to produce Plans as between £17,000 and £250,000 Averaging out at £40,000 that could be £11m if all do plans But government expects perhaps 15 per year for your area – still £600kpa The contribution of voluntary time to Parish Plans and VDSs has always been considerable, and might continue, but help is needed because…

16 Skills for Neighbourhood Plans... the demands of statutory plans require specialist skills... the sheer load is enormously more than was the case for Parish Plans Planners aren’t trained with the community engagement skills – no fault of theirs Community support bodies are great at engagement, but don’t have planning skills – again no fault of theirs (But help is at hand...!)

17 Localism and Your AONB - Now You have the Board in place (not all AONBs do) That gives you clout, especially on planning issues Good Management Plan in place Based on long, thorough engagement Covers all issues, not just planning protection Perhaps 20 Parish/Town Plans done, lots more on their way Around 24 VDSs done, most ‘adopted’, more on their way

18 Localism and Your AONB - Future Could produce its own full, formal, Plan This would enable you to influence all issues Engagement to date could be built on This would make it a genuinely collaborative approach Parish Plans and VDSs could still link in (bit of a tweak needed) New Parish and Town level action could be a genuine component


20 Your Waiter Recommends This Menu… Don’t stop Parish Plan/VDS work – but slight shifts needed If a compelling reason to do NP, NDO, CRB project... tread carefully Otherwise, DON’T START ON A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN YET! Continue to lobby, harder than before, for engagement in Core Strategies etc. Continue to lobby for better pre-application engagement

21 In the Meantime Place Your Efforts Into: ‘Character and Design Statements’ Two key reasons: Gets more people engaged and organised Results will have clout even if NPs delayed And this is a nationally exciting model because it can combine: Village Design Statement (built environment) approaches Landscape character assessment – enriching the AONB’s guidelines Conservation Area Character Assessment And move into site selection and project briefs if you need to

22 What Do You Think Of It So Far? I said I’d be seeking your views so... Half day Briefings (for all and sundry) on Localism in the AONB? Training sessions on (eg.) Character and Design Statements Possible support on NPs, NDOs etc. Possible support on finishing current Parish Plans / VDSs PS. Maybe more for others (Localism Network?) than AONB

23 Thanks for your time (The Localism Network flyer is in your packs)


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