Town Planning heralded one of its most significant ever changes when on the 6th of April 2012 the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations came in to effect.
These changes mean communities now have the power to plan and shape their neighbourhood. To find out more read on, or call Michael on 01282 872570.
Much talk on neighbourhood planning has centred on existing parishes who are in the advantageous position of being already identified in the Localism Act as “relevant bodies” when seeking to be designated a neighbourhood planning area.
But what about non-parished areas? Areas with, say neighbourhood forums, area boards, or some other less formal local decision-making structure.
For non-parished areas there are additional requirements you will have to meet before you can be designated a neighbourhood forum so that you can prepare a neighbourhood plan.
To be designated a neighbourhood forum if you area a non-parished area you will have to submit an application to your local planning authority. This application must include:
the name of your proposed neighbourhood forum;
a copy of your written constitution of the proposed neighbourhood forum;
the name of the neighbourhood area to which your application relates and a map to identify your area;
contact details of at least one member of the proposed neighbourhood forum; and
a statement explaining how your proposed neighbourhood forum meets conditions contained in section 61F(5) of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act.
One final hurdle is your forum must have a minimum of 21 members.
Some of the above should be straight forward, but at Kirkwells we know many groups, especially in urban areas, do not have written constitutions, struggle with fluctuating memberships, and overlaps with other neighbourhood groups.
If you are thinking of seeking designation as a neighbourhood forum you will also have to prepare the statement referred to in point 5 above.
This will have to describe how your forum was established for the “express purpose” of promoting or improving social, economic and environmental well-being of your area. You will also have to demonstrate membership of your forum is open to all who live and work in the neighbourhood, and to elected members of the local county council, district council and London Borough Council if you are in London.
You will also have to show your membership is drawn from all parts of the neighbourhood and all sections of the community in your area.
So, all in all, not insurmountable problems but not as easy as being a parish council!
Do you represent an existing neighbourhood group who wants to neighbourhood plan and you are getting to grips with what all this means?
If you are, and you want to discuss designation in more depth, or have another neighbourhood planning question call Mick Wellock on 01282 872570.
Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org. Mick will be happy to discuss your issues and provide expert advice.
©Kirkwells Town Planners and Sustainable Development Consultants based at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre in Burnley www.kirkwells.co.uk
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