From:                              James Mark (Localism) <>

Sent:                               01 June 2017 12:26

To:                                   Anna Pentecost (Mylor); Anna Pentecost (Perranarworthal); Cas Leo; Colin Chapman (Constantine); James Mark (Localism); Lisa Clements (Mawnan); Lois Iddon  (Budock); Mark Williams (Falmouth Town); Sue Thomas (St Gluvias)

Subject:                          FW: UpFront: neighbourhood planning news May/June 2017


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From: Planning Aid England [] On Behalf Of Planning Aid England
Sent: 31 May 2017 12:33
To: James Mark (Localism)
Subject: UpFront: neighbourhood planning news May/June 2017



May/June 2017


News Icon



Welcome to the May/June edition of UpFront, designed to keep you informed about all matters connected to neighbourhood planning.

This issue inlcudes: a summary of key points from the Neighbourhood Planning Act, news of work on industry guidance for neighbourhood plan examinations, articles looking at creative and innovative neighbourhood plan policies in St Ives and Leeds, top tips on community engagement in inner city neighbourhood planning; and our question of the month looks at securing a high turnout at referendum.  As usual, this edition also contains the latest neighbourhood  planning news and resources.

Legislation update

Image removed by sender.The Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 received Royal Assent on the 27th of April 2017. As well as changes to rules regarding compulsory purchase and limiting the use of planning conditions, this is good news for neighbourhood planning groups; most provisions in the Act are designed to improve the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) adoption process and the status of the NP in decision making by the Local Planning Authority (LPA). This includes making the NP part of the LPA’s development plan immediately following referendum approval, and not waiting further for its formally being “made” by the LPA’s Executive. Once made, the Act distinguishes between future minor and major modifications to plans - making it easier to adapt them.  Seen in the context of other recent amendments, such as the added protection afforded to areas  that have an up-to-date date NP (which provides positively for housing) from housing applications on unallocated sites, and a number of commitments to funding neighbourhood planning and committing local authorities to provide more support for neighbourhood planning in the recent Housing White Paper, the Government’s ambition to strengthen the foundations of localism are clearly being realised. Of course, as planning power afforded to neighbourhood planning groups increases, so too does challenge and responsibility that goes with it.  The Act itself can be read here.

Update on neighbourhood planning and community right to build support programme 

Image removed by sender.We are now in year three of the Department for Communities and Local Government-funded support programme, worth £22.5 million for Neighbourhood Planning and £3.5 million for community buildings.
We have awarded over £8 million in grant funding and £3.1 million in technical support to neighbourhood planning groups.

Many groups have seen the successful completion of their technical support packages with reports on strategic environmental assessment, health checks prior to examination, and heritage and character assessment helping them progress with their plans.

Community groups all around the country continue to show significant interest in projects to build new community facilities and community-led housing developments. So far, there have been more than 200 requests for applications for community buildings project support and pre-feasibility grants, with over £1.2 million awarded.

Referendum news 

Image removed by sender.In April the Idmiston Neighbourhood Plan was successful at referendum. In May no less than 30 plans successfully passed referendum, including Bookham, Salford Priors and Coleshill. Full details of all referendum results for April and May are available here.

Neighbourhood planning FAQs

Image removed by sender.Locality are in the process of putting together some frequently asked questions around neighbourhood planning and the wider planning system.  We understand it can be a daunting process and we’d like to offer advice on topics that many groups struggle with.  We’re after your help with this.
Are there any questions that you would like answering? Anything you know that you think it’s important to share with other groups?  If so please email

NPIERS leading industry guidance for neighbourhood plan examinations

The purpose of the Neighbourhood Planning Independent Examiner Referral Service (NPIERS)  is to provide communities and Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) with quick and easy access to independent examiners for neighbourhood plans, who are fully trained in the process and subject to stringent performance monitoring. NPIERS also offers clarity around timescales and costs for neighbourhood plan examinations. 
NPIERS recently met with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Planning, Lord Bourne, who declared that there is a political will for the neighbourhood examination process to be more transparent for communities, and procedural guidance is necessary.
NPIERS has formed a working party, chaired by Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC, to take this forward. The working party is made up of examiners, and representatives from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Read the full artlce here.


Events Icon



Neighbourhood planning events coming soon:

'Neighbourhood Planning - here to stay?'  RTPI West Midlands event: Thursday 20th July, Brimingham   
Have neighbourhood plans now become fully integrated into the planning system? What issues and challenges are emerging? Has it improved the way we plan? This seminar is designed to explore these and other questions. For further information and to book your place visit the RTPI website

Details of all forthcoming events can be found here.  If you'd like your event included here please email us


Top Tips Icon

Top Tips


Community engagement in inner city neighbourhood planning

This month's top tops have been prepared by Abbie Miladinovic, Project Support Officer at Leeds City Council.  The tips are based on the experiences of a number of  inner city neighbourhood planning groups in Leeds, notably Holbeck - the first inner city neighbourhood plan to come forward in Leeds and recently submitted for examination.

Getting Started
In the early stages of the neighbourhood plan process, it is important to avoid overloading people with technical planning jargon. Framing engagement in a way that is fun and accessible to all people (especially those who have never been engaged in planning issues) is particularly important. The early involvement of local area management officers (who already have links with local people on other issues) worked particularly well in Holbeck where they were able to provide assistance with forum organisation and governance.
Officers from across the Council worked with the local community in Holbeck and Planning Aid England to organise an initial local event to set out the benefits that neighbourhood planning can bring to an inn
er-city community. The scope of a Neighbourhood plan was also set out but importantly, encouragement was given to local people to 'try something new' or different which perhaps challenged established conventions on what a neighbourhood plan could achieve. This is an important message for all inner-city communities.

Read all Abbie's  top tips

What top tips could you pass on? Send us your suggestions for this e-bulletin.


Resources Icon



Pushing the boundaries: Lessons from St Ives 

Article by Tony Burton - free range neighbourhood planner, convener of Neighbourhood Planners.London and an Examiner. Twitter: @Tony4Place

Image removed by sender.One of the joys of neighbourhood planning is its flexibility. Qualifying bodies can decide how ambitious they want their plans to be and how many issues are covered. There is also significant untapped freedom to push the boundaries of what planning decisions can influence. The St Ives neighbourhood plan has caught the headlines for tackling the impact of second homes and holiday lets though its Policy H2 stating "new open market housing, excluding replacement dwellings, will only be supported where there is a restriction to secure its occupancy as a Principal Residence".  The policy has already stood up at appeal when a decision to retain a planning condition preventing use of a new dwellings as a second home or holiday let was upheld.

The approach has been picked up elsewhere in Cornwall with the St Minver and Rame Peninsula plans securing support at referendum.  A recent Neighbourhood Planners.London conference also kicked off a discussion as to the relevance of the approach in parts of the capital experiencing high levels of absentee landlords. 

Read the full article here.

Neighbourhood planning in one city

Article by Dr Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Planning and Housing, Leeds Beckett University. Twitter: @QuintinBradley

Image removed by sender.With 35 neighbourhood plans underway, the city of Leeds has seen the biggest community engagement in planning in any city outside London. In a conference organised by Leeds Beckett University in May, the first steps were taken in establishing a network of neighbourhood groups to share experiences and support. The situation in Leeds is unique because it has a range of groups, spanning rural towns and villages and inner city communities, with 22 parish areas and 13 forum areas. This diversity in neighbourhood plan areas, and in levels of affluence or deprivation, is the result of a deliberate strategy by Leeds City Council to promote neighbourhood planning both as democratic engagement in land use decisions, and as a direction of community development. Richard Lewis, the Executive Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning said: “Neighbourhood planning in Leeds is not just about the leafy villages, it’s for the inner city areas too.” This meant that the Council’s small neighbourhood planning team has been proactive in providing support, but has also prioritised that service to help those groups facing the steepest climb, and many of the inner city forum areas, designated in 2013, are benefiting from the experience of groups at a later stage in the development of their plan.

Read in full here.

Memorandum of Understanding - new toolkit

This toolkit explains the purpose, content and use of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between a qualifying body (QB) for neighbourhood planning and stakeholders critical to the development of a successful neighbourhood development plan or order. In particular, a MOU is relevant to the way in which a QB and their Local Planning Authority (LPA) do business together.

Neighbourhood Plans and Regeneration - new guide

Image removed by sender.This new guide from MyCommunity provides neighbourhood planning groups with information and practical tools to help them address regeneration issues in their neighbourhood plans. This can involve a wide range of issues, including regeneration of housing estates, town centres and industrial and commercial areas. The purpose of document is to provide practical tools to help with the analysis of an area’s regeneration challenges and to help develop solutions in the form of effective planning policies.

The Good Councillor's Guide to Neighbourhood planning

Image removed by sender.Locality in association with  National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has published The Good Councillor's guide to neighbourhood planning. This guide is aimed at local councillors who are interested in finding out more about their role in relation to neighbourhood planning or perhaps belong to a council who are embarking on producing a neighbourhood plan for their area.

UpFront podcasts 

In our latest video  Harry Burchill, RTPI Policy Officer (England), speaks to Martin Fitton from Kington Area Neighbourhood Plan about the positive impact of technical support in the development of the neighbourhood plan. Kington have received two technical support packages - housing advice and assessment and neighbourhood design codes. Details of how to apply for technical support and eligibility criteria can be found here.

View the video

Our other videos can be found here.


Question of the month icon

Question of the month


Q. How can neighbourhood planning groups encourage high voter turnout at referendum?

This month’s answer is provided by Will Sparling who has been involved in neighbourhood planning in Yorkshire and the South East.

The key to this is talking about your plan. Think about your neighbourhood area and who will be voting on your plan and go and speak to them. This can be really effective. Try to use plain English when you do, and always ask planning officers to do the same! One fantastic example I know of, is where a group took a ‘neighbourhood planning gazebo’ around their large village and encouraged people to speak to them whilst they were out and about.

There are a couple of quick wins that could help too. Firstly, set out the key points of your plan to make people aware of what it is and what it does. Secondly, ask your town or parish council and local planning authority to raise awareness of the referendum on the homepage of their website and through social media. You could even consider your own social media pages as well as providing articles to traditional media.

One thing of importance to note is that the parish or town council, or neighbourhood forum, cannot fund or be involved with a campaign for a yes vote. Funding must come from private individuals or businesses and there is a legal maximum spend allowed. Speak to the elections team at your local council if you need help. 


Let us know what you think

Let us know what you think about Up Front. News items, resources, events, tips and questions are all very welcome.

If this has been forwarded to you, why not subscribe yourself?


Where to go for help

There are a number of websites dedicated to neighbourhood planning including My Community. This has information on neighbourhood planning, including case studies, a range of toolkits covering topics such as writing planning policies and writing a consultation statement, as well as  details of upcoming events.

The Forum for Neighbourhood Planning has a wealth of information and resources including; latest news; case studies; resources; and links to ‘made’ plans. 


This bulletin is produced by Planning Aid England with funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government




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