Friday, 27 February 2015 08:44

Boost for neighbourhood planning

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Boost for neighbourhood planning

A £22m programme aims to support communities looking to set up neighbourhood plans.

Neighbourhood plans allow people to decide the future development of their area, including where new homes and businesses should be built.

Nearly 1,400 areas representing 6 million people across England are already using their neighbourhood planning powers, with others looking to follow suit.

Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis said neighbourhood planning groups would be able to apply for grant funding from Friday (27 February 2015).

As part of the £22.5m programme, grants can be used to pay for events to engage the local community, print leaflets and to pay for specialist planning expertise.

The support programme runs to 2018.

From April, community groups will receive technical assistance and expert advice to support new neighbourhood plans and neighbourhood development orders.

It comes as ministers prepare to host a national summit bringing together local authorities, MPs, builders, and communities to help more people develop neighbourhood plans.

Mr Lewis said: "With 6 million people living in areas producing neighbourhood plans the success of our reforms is clear.

"Now I want to keep up the momentum, and encourage more areas to come forward and this new £22 million programme for grant applications will do just that."

Neighbourhood plans that can be used in determining planning applications can be voted into force in a referendum.

To date, every one of the 48 plans and four orders submitted to a local referendum have been approved by local people - although some communities find the neighbourhood planning process burdensome.

The government has also launched a new online toolkit to help communities navigate the neighbourhood planning process as effectively as possible.

Grants for community groups wanting to gain permission for new community buildings or community-led housing are have also opened.

Locality, a national network of community-led organisations, is delivering the government's neighbourhood planning support programme and will be assessing applications.

For further information on grants, visit

People in this conversation

  • Guest (David)


    What's the point of NLP's and thier Village Design Statement predecessors, when planning decisions at District level are often governed by how many applications they can refuse each year before their powers are taken away?
    In my PC we had a planning application that 95+% of the village was against and was contrary to our VDS, but at the start of the District's planning meeting the chairman stood up and said that they could refuse no more applications, & so everything at that meeting was allowed!

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