Planning Minister Nick Boles wants a quicker, simpler neighbourhood planning process.

Hailing neighbourhood planning a “huge success” with over 800 neighbourhoods now pursuing neighbourhood plans Nick Boles now wants to speed up their preparation.

In a speech to the Town and Country Planning Association reported in Planning Boles said the government wanted to look at “which bits of the process were unnecessary or over-long”. He went on:

“We all recognise the full level of complexity is not suitable in every case. Is there an easier way of doing it?

“We want to hear from people who have done it and come up with something that may be an alternative to the full-blown system or a change in the full-blown system. I would love to hear feedback from the front-line.”

Well, we consider ourselves to be supporting many of those on the front line. So what would we suggest?

Surprisingly, not too much. We think it is down to how well you use the process, not the process itself. Take a closer look this is fairly streamlined to start with.

The main area that stands out is the second consultation carried out by the local planning authority after submission of the neighbourhood plan.

Why not have one formal period of consultation, submission to the local planning authority, who then check the plan meets the basic conditions and off the neighbourhood plan goes to examination. Or is this too radical?

Kirkwells are one of the leading chartered town planning consultancies supporting communities with neighbourhood planning. To find out more about how we could help you request a brochure or call Michael or Louise on

01282 872570


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