Monthly Archives: June 2011

Localism: developers must get community engagement right

Localism will devolve power to local communities, particularly at a neighbourhood level. This means developers must get their community engagement right. This will mean changes in timing and changes in approach. On timing, consulting after a proposal has already been worked up in some detail may be too late. Once the Localism Bill receives royal assent it will be compulsory for developers to consult communities on certain types of development before an application is submitted. Getting sustainable development on the ground will be secured by those who forge relationships with local people, and engage community leaders. On approach, it will be much more about meaningful engagement rather than tick box consultation. This is particularly true as we move in to … Continue reading

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Presumption in favour of sustainable development

Government have produced a draft of their proposed presumption in favour of sustainable development. There is a presumption in favour of sustainable development at the heart of the planning system, which should be central to the approach taken to both plan-making and decision-taking. Local planning authorities should plan positively for new development, and approve all individual proposals wherever possible. Local planning authorities should: Prepare local plans on the basis that objectively assessed development needs should be met, and with sufficient flexibility to respond to rapid shifts in demand or other economic changes Approve development proposals that accord with statutory plans without delay and Grant permission where the plan is absent, silent, indeterminate or where relevant policies are out of date … Continue reading

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Localism Bill: Abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies

Without doubt, so far, the most contentious aspect of the Localism Bill has been the intention to abolish regional planning – Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS). RSS are currently part of the statutory development plan and must be taken in to account when preparing local plans. RSS is particularly important in setting district housing targets, and identifying where major development, for example for employment should be focused. Government originally tried to revoke RSS shortly after being elected, only to be challenged in the courts. In November 2010, this decision was challenged and RSS reinstated. Local Plans must still take account of RSS. However, at the end of May, Government were successful in the Court of Appeal in establishing that the intention … Continue reading

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Want to produce a neighbourhood plan?

Government have invited a fourth round of bids to become neighbourhood planning vanguards. This would allow local communities and local business areas to prepare a plan for their area, and benefit from £20,000 in support. Applications are only eligible from local authorities. So parish and town councils and private businesses seeking to make an application for the project that they wish to undertake would have to ask the local planning authority to make the application. Are you a parish or town council interested in preparing a neighbourhood plan? Are you a business, or group of businesses looking to prepare a plan for your business district? If you are, and need help in putting your ideas together, and in approaching your … Continue reading

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Community Right to Build

Today, Housing Minister Grant Shapps called on local communities to start “laying the foundations” for Community Right to Build schemes. He also announced this proposal would be extended to urban as well as rural areas. Community Right to Build would allow communities to come together, sometimes with the support of developers to build the homes, shops and other facilities they need. Click on the link below to read the full statement. If you area community thinking of getting together to look at Community Right to Build and need advice give us a call on 01282 972570 or email your questions to Mick – we are happy to give our advice. You can download a copy of the Government e-leaflet on … Continue reading

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