Tag Archives: Localism

Neighbourhood Plan Designation: What Happens if we are not a Parish?

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 … Continue reading

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Getting to Grips with Localism Part 2: New Freedoms and Flexibilities for Local Government

One of the key aims of Localism is to devolve power to local people and their elected representatives. To do this the Localism Act will introduce a number of new freedoms and flexibilities for local government. General power of competence – currently local authorities can only do what the law says they can. The Localism Act turns this on its head. The Localism Act will give local authorities a “general power of competence”, freeing up local authorities to do anything provided they do not break other laws. Abolition of the Standards Board – at the moment all local authorities must adopt a national code of conduct and a standards committee. This oversees the work of councillors and handles complaints. The … Continue reading

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Getting to Grips with Localism – An Introduction

This is the first in our series of guides on the Localism Act. Over the coming weeks we will look in detail at various aspect of the Localism Act. But this first instalment looks at what the Government wants to achieve with the Act and, in summary, at what the Act contains. The Government’s primary aim with the Localism Act is to shift power away from central government and towards local people. In the words of Greg Clark, Minister for Decentralisation: “the best means of strengthening society is not for central government to try and seize all the power and responsibility for itself. It is to help people and their locally elected representatives to achieve their own ambitions. This is … Continue reading

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Kirkwells featured on Burnley.co.uk

Michael Wellock, Kirkwells Director, writes a regular blog piece for burnley.co.uk, in his latest piece Michael talks about the challenges for the town thrown up by Localism. “In these tough economic times the places that do well will be the ones that can do things for themselves. OK, we have had a lot of help from central government and others over the years. But we also have a long history of making things happen ourselves. And that is because of the talent, imagination and in-built tradition of hard work you find in Burnley.” Things that in Michael’s opinion have been evident in the long and proud history of Burnley: “Take the old Prestige factory. Now converted successfully for other uses. … Continue reading

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Getting to grips with Localism and Planning

Whilst the great planning debate hogging the national news has been all about the controversial National Planning Policy Framework, even greater changes are coming with the Localism Act. This Act will change the balance of power away from regions to local councils and local neighbourhoods. It will bring new challenges and opportunities for local communities and their elected councils. It will also have significant implications for developers, land owners and businesses. Over the next few days we will be exploring in greater detail what we think some of the new changes will mean for local Councils, neighbourhoods, such as parishes, and landowners, developers and business. Because anybody affected by, or with an interest in planning, has not got long to get grips … Continue reading

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Understanding the Localism Act

Well we have waited some time for this but now we finally have it. And the 497 pages of the Localism Act are going to take some digesting. In the coming days we hope to be able to help you with some of this by looking at key sections of the Bill. Looking at their implications, the changes, and how they could affect you.  

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Localism Act: Power Shift from Whitehall to Communities

The Localism Bill has become law. The Localism Act will trigger the biggest transfer of power in a generation, releasing councils and communities from the grip of central government. The Localism Act puts a number of new rights and powers at the disposal of local councils and people to take charge of their future. Some of the key changes for local councils include: Clarifying the rules on predetermination in order to free up councillors to express their opinions on issues of local importance without the fear of legal challenge Introducing new planning enforcement rules, giving councils the ability to take action against people who deliberately conceal unauthorised development Increasing powers for councils to remove illegal advertisements and graffiti and prevent … 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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