A statement from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) last week revealed a significant increase in the number of neighbourhood plans which had been voted in by their local communities. There is strong support for Neighbourhood Plans particularly in rural areas where so far on average around 90% of the community vote in favour of their Plan.
The DCLG also stated that local communities are making their plans more ambitious in what they are seeking to achieve for example, in planning for housing beyond, and in advance of, the local planning authority’s Local Plan for the area and added that housing numbers are more than 10% higher in areas that have a Neighbourhood Plan than in the Council’s Local Plan.
The former Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said he was delighted that communities help shape the future of their areas, and said ‘it is clear that more and more people are getting involved with determining how the future of their area will evolve for future generations’.
Following the introduction of the Localism Act, the trend in planning is towards a more localised system and this is now starting to take effect. It has the aim of delivering more housing at a local level and with support and engagement from the community.
It is becoming increasingly important for landowners looking to promote their land for development to get involved in the process at an early stage. Robinson & Hall advise on the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans, as well as representing landowners in discussions with Parish Councils and Neighbourhood Forums. If you want to find out how you can be involved in this process, then get in contact with your nearest office.