New planning powers giving communities the ability to shape the character of their neighbourhood were published for consultation today by Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark.
Neighbourhood Planning will for the first time give communities a real voice in deciding the look and feel of development in their area. Local people will be able to have their say on the location of new homes, the design of buildings, the shops they want to see in the High Street, and the green spaces that should be protected.
The new powers being introduced in the Localism Bill will also give local people the power to decide the types of development that can be granted automatic planning permission, through a Neighbourhood Development Order.
The regulations being published for consultation make clear how a neighbourhood area will be defined, how to set up the forums that will propose plans, and will also outline the requirements for establishing a Neighbourhood Development Order.
An easy to understand guide to Neighbourhood Planning is also being published today to make it easier for communities to use the new powers.
Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark said:
For the first time local people will have a real voice in deciding the look and feel of development in their area through Neighbourhood Planning.
Communities will be able to shape their own vision for the future as they see fit. They will be able to protect what makes their town or village special, including green spaces, and have their say on the design and location of new homes.
There has been real enthusiasm across the country to test out Neighbourhood Planning and today’s consultation is the next step in preparing the ground before the powers become widely available.
The regulations draw on existing procedures where possible to minimise the time communities and councils need to become familiar with the new system.
There are now 126 communities acting as ‘frontrunners’ for testing out the principles of Neighbourhood Planning. Applications are now being accepted for a fifth wave of frontrunners.
Notes to editors
1. The closing date for comments on the proposed regulations is 5 January 2012.
2. Further information on the consultation can be found at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/planningregulationsconsultation.
3. Also launched today are an easy to understand guide to Neighbourhood Planning, available here: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/introductionneighbourplanning and an e-flyer for communities to promote neighbourhood planning, available here: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/neighbourhoodplanningeflyer.
4. Applications for the fifth wave of frontrunners must be received by 4 November 2011. More information on how to apply and a list of the front-runners testing out Neighbourhood Planning can be found at: www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/planningsystem/neighbourhoodplanningvanguards/.
5. Regulations on the requirements for Community Right to Build organisations and the Orders they can establish are also being consulted on. Community Right to Build ensures people have the power to decide what they want to build in their communities.
6. The Government is bringing forward a number of reforms to the planning system, aimed at restoring democratic and local control and shifting power to communities. The Localism Bill is a key vehicle for achieving this and is currently being debated in the House of Lords.
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