Planning the Future of your Parish Council

11 Apr 2024

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Stephen Butt, Local Council Consultancy Associate, describes the complexities, challenges and benefits of neighbourhood planning in the March edition of SLCC’s The Clerk magazine.

Neighbourhood planning was introduced in the Localism Act, 2011. More than 3,000 plans have since been made or are underway. However, University of Reading research has shown a significant number of parish and town councils have hesitated to start work on neighbourhood plans because they see them as burdensome and time-consuming.

We don’t have the time…

Creating a plan can be time-consuming, especially for a small parish with few staff, because it must stand up to scrutiny. It needs to be authoritative and comprehensive because it will be consulted when every future planning application in your parish is considered.

After all the hard work in creating it, your parishioners will be asked to support it, or otherwise, at a referendum. So it really is important to involve the community right from the start. Your council will find everyone in your community has something valuable to contribute, including landowners, developers, farmers, businesspeople, shopkeepers, pub landlords, early morning dog-walkers, and parents taking their children to school.

Everyone with a knowledge and an understanding of where they live can help.

Click here to read the full article.