Neighbourhood Plan

 

Neighbourhood Plan for Whitstable

Transition Town Whitstable is bringing together a number of local organisations, community groups and individuals to constitute a ‘Neighbourhood Forum’ in order to develop a Neighbourhood Plan. Will you join us?

development planningNeighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area.

These new powers were introduced by the Localism Act in 2011. They can be taken forward by town and parish councils or ‘neighbourhood forums’.

There are various websites that explain how it works, and how to get guidance and funding. A useful one  can be found at locality.org.uk/projects/building-community. It includes a useful explanatory video called ‘Understanding Neighbourhood Planning’

We have so far held one public meeting (April 2016) and are planning to hold another in early 2017Neighbourhood Plan Meeting flyer v7

For updates and informatioin about our meetings, see Latest News, our Facebook page or contact Janet at janetmerza@hotmail.co.uk

Meanwhile, here is an overview of what the process involves:
1. Publicising the proposal to the general community and community organisations. This process began when we contacting 40 local community organisations, leafletted the general public in the town centre and publicised through social media, then organised the meeting which you attended. Community engagement needs to continue throughout the process as people need to be aware of the plan when it comes to a referendum.
2. Setting up a Neighbourhood Forum. As we have no Town or Parish Council, we need to set up a Neighbourhood Forum to be the organisation responsible for leading and coordinating the plan. It needs to have a minimum of 21 people, reflecting the character and diversity of the local population. We are able to apply for Technical Support (from AECOM) for help in setting up the forum if required. The local planning authority has to designate both the neighbourhood forum and the area to be included. They have 13 weeks in which to give us a decision, but it is advisable to work closely with them throughout the process and they are obliged to offer us support.
3. Once we have a defined boundary and have a Neighbourhood Forum capable of leading the process we need to begin work on a Project Plan. The template on the ‘my community’ website will help us set out the various stages and focus on key tasks at each stage. We will need to identify the need for our proposals and show that they are achievable.
4. We need to fill in an online Expression of Interest Form to determine what additional support we are eligible for. As well as the £1K-£9K for Town or Parish councils, as a Neighbourhood Forum we may be eligible for an additional £6K. The grant is to cover costs such as legal advice, developing a website, capacity building and training for the steering group, public indemnity insurance, undertaking housing surveys etc. and even putting together a project plan. We will need to submit basic information about the group, and the community we represent (population, diversity, levels of deprivation etc. – we should be able to get the information we need from CCC). We also need to submit a budget with a detailed breakdown of costs. Although travel costs are admissible, general admin costs are not, so people need to be able to give their time on a voluntary basis.
5. Producing a Neighbourhood Plan. Wider consultation will be necessary at this point, with the help of CCC (for promotion and publicity, for example) to community groups, local businesses, youth organisations, schools etc. to inform the Plan’s vision and aims. Certain basic conditions need to be met before the Plan can be approved. These include, among others, the need to achieve sustainable development.
6. Pre-submission consultation. The draft plan needs to be widely publicised and approved by the groups consulted and the wider population, with leaflets and displays in public places, drop-in centres etc.
7. Once modified, if necessary, the draft plan and supporting documents are submitted to the local planning authority, after discussions with them about any concerns regarding basic conditions
8. Post-submission publicity for a 6 week period to inform an independent evaluation (to make sure it meets the basic conditions) and submission to a referendum, both organised by the local planning authorityblic Meeting Monday 25 April at St John’s Methodist Church, Argyle Road, 7.30-9pm. Please help promote this important event.

9. Once brought into legal force, the neighbourhood plan forms part of the statutory Development Plan for the area.

Transition Town Whitstable is bringing together a number of local organisations, community groups and individuals to constitute a ‘Neighbourhood Forum’ in order to develop a Neighbourhood Plan. Will you join us?

development planningNeighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area.

These new powers were introduced by the Localism Act in 2011. They can be taken forward by town and parish councils or ‘neighbourhood forums’.

There are various websites that explain how it works, and how to get guidance and funding. A useful one  can be found at locality.org.uk/projects/building-community. It includes a useful explanatory video called ‘Understanding Neighbourhood Planning’

For updates and informatioin about our meetings, see Latest News, our Facebook page or contact Janet at janetmerza@hotmail.co.uk