Monday, 03 November 2014 09:58

£23m for more neighbourhood plans

Written by  Ruralcity Media
£23m for more neighbourhood plans

THE government has unveiled an extra £23m to help more communities to get involved in neighbourhood planning.

Neighbourhood plans allow local people to put forward and vote on their proposals for the type of development in their area – and where it should go.

Local communities can draw up 'neighbourhood plans' that can be used in determining planning applications, and 'neighbourhood development orders' that grant planning permission.

Around 1,200 communities across England have already begun the process of neighbourhood planning, with 33 plans and one order having been approved in local referendums.

So far, the government has helped more than 700 local groups develop their plans, with more than 1,000 communities involved in neighbourhood planning.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said the government was "giving local people a real say in shaping what gets built where" in their local area.

"I now want to take this further, to get more people and communities involved in neighbourhood planning," said Mr Lewis.

"The £23 million I am announcing today will help many more community groups to bring their neighbourhood plans into reality."

Neighbourhood planning allows people to choose where new housing and businesses should go, the size and density of new building and can give the green light to developments.

The funding will providing community groups with a further £1 million for grants during this financial year, in addition to £4.25m already awarded since 2013.

Grants of up to £7,000 can be applied for on mycommunityrights.org.uk.

At the same time, £22.5m is being made available from 2015-2018 to provide community groups with expert advice, grant funding and technical assistance about neighbourhood plans.

Some £100,000 has been allocated to enable groups to organise workshops on neighbourhood planning in their local area.

Local planning authorities can also take advantage of a £12m funding pot to help them meet the cost of their responsibilities and to support local communities.

Planning authorities can claim up to £100,000 a year each to help communities start a neighbourhood plan, with an extra £25,000 for each plan or order that passes an examination.

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