Locality has been awarded a £9.5m contract to deliver a two-year programme to help communities develop their neighbourhood plans.
Neighbourhood plans are a new right for communities to influence planning decisions. Communities will be able to advise where they want new developments such as homes, shops and offices to be built, or what new buildings should look like and what facilities should be provided.
Once a draft plan has been drawn up and consulted locally it is submitted for an independent examination and once passed is submitted to a local referendum. Plans that are approved will form part of the development plan for the local authority area and should carry legal weight in planning decisions.
Groups of residents seeking to create a neighbourhood plan will be able to bid for up to £7,000 each to contribute to the costs of preparing their proposals.
The neighbourhood plans programme will be delivered by Locality in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute, Planning Aid England, the Community Development Foundation, Urban Vision Enterprise, Eden Project and URS.
Locality chief executive Steve Wyler said:
“We are delighted to be awarded the neighbourhood planning contract to provide support to communities across the country wanting to transform their local area. Locality has experience of working with pioneering groups to design their own neighbourhood plans. This is an exciting opportunity, with guidance and grants enabling many more people to design their own environments and create sustainable solutions which meet the needs of those who live there.”
Neighbourhood planning groups will find full details about the new two-year programme from 15 April on the My Community Rights website. Communities will be able to submit applications for support and grants from 1 May. First payments and direct support packages are expected to be agreed in May and further details can be found in this factsheet.
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