A hundred communities in England have adopted Neighbourhood Plans.
Locality, the national network of community-led organisations, which delivers the planning programme on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government, says more than eight million people in 1,600 neighbourhoods now live in areas with Neighbourhood Plans. These documents, written by communities, set out the planning policies for an area.
Once adopted in a referendum, a Neighbourhood Plan becomes part of statutory planning policy and all planning decisions must be guided by it.
Locality has allocated £6.7m in government grants to support community groups through the process since its introduction under the Localism Act in 2011.
Chief executive Tony Armstrong said people want to influence what happens on their doorstep. “Whether that’s ensuring there’s enough affordable housing for their children in the future, protecting green spaces or safeguarding their neighbourhood’s heritage, they get to say what’s important to them and, more importantly, they get to be listened to,” he said.