Neighbourhood planning - making it easier to get involved: advice for local authorities
In January 2016 the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) awarded over £700k to 22 local authorities to:
- Explore how to better support neighbourhood planning by piloting ways of making neighbourhood planning an integral part of their planning process, for example in relation to Local Plan-making, or:
- Identify ways of involving or delegating planning decisions to neighbourhood planning groups, or
- Make changes to their service to ensure that they have an up-to-date Local Plan in place by 2017.
Each authority proposed to redesign their support services in different ways, which ranged from developing digital engagement to improving local collaboration.
The outputs produced are a series of tools, reports and case studies that achieved the above aims in different ways:
- Engaging local communities - DCLG has supported Local Authorities who are testing how to make it easier for communities to get involved in planning.
- Managing essential data and local information - Having accurate data on the local area and all it contains is essential to both a Local Plan and a Neighbourhood Plan, and therefore it is important that both Local Authorities and communities have access to great data and the skills to interpret it. Four Local Authorities used DCLG's support to redesign services and improve access to data they hold as well as to improve the skills in the use of data of communities wishing to engage in planning.
- Creative use of resources and integrated working - Resourcing local neighbourhood planning processes is important. The following tools show how this can be helped by the creative use of existing resources and joined up working between authorities.