The Federation is supportive of the principle of community led planning. Many housing associations have a long tradition of working in partnership with communities to determine the future of local neighbourhoods.
The concept of communities having the power to decide the future for their own neighbourhood is central to the Government’s decentralisation, localism and big society agendas. The new planning proposals go some way to implementing this.
What is neighbourhood planning?
Neighbourhood Planning is one of a suite of community rights contained in the Localism Act, which enables the devolution of planning responsibilities to a local level. Communities will be able to set their own vision for the future of their neighbourhood and following a referendum, consolidate this vision in a statutory plan.
The Government has awarded four organisations a share of a £3.2m fund to provide assistance to local groups developing neighbourhood plans. Communities can choose to take up free advice and guidance depending on their needs from;
- The Prince's Foundation
- The Royal Town Planning Institute
- The National Association of Local Councils in partnership with the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
What is the Community Right to Build?
The Community Right to Build will allow communities to decide what they want to build in their neighbourhood.
Local communities will have the power to take forward development in their area without needing to apply for planning permission, subject to meeting certain safeguards and securing 50% support of the community through a referendum.
Neighbourhood Planning Regulations Consultation
In December 2011 the Federation submitted its response to the draft neighbourhood planning regulations which will be part of the Localism Act.
The Federation is supportive of measures which enable communities to design and deliver their own vision for the future of their neighbourhood and to be offered a range of routes through the planning system to do so. Neighbourhood plans are just one option and well resourced, generic and tailored project support must be available for communities who wish to take this route.
The Federation will continue to participate in the Communities and Local Government's neighbourhood planning sounding board, with other stakeholders, to ensure that the regulations effectively empower communities to deliver affordable housing.
Your place, your plan
'Your place, your plan' (PDF, opens new window) is a a new guide from the TCPA providing introductory information for anyone interested in getting involved in their local planning process in their local area. The guide offers top tips and contacts to encourage local people to get involved in creating a vision for their area, to be inclusive and realistic as well as enjoying the process. Hard copies are available directly from the TCPA (external, opens new window).