Neighbourhood Planning

Urban Vision is a leading authority on neighbourhood planning, with a substantial body of experience.  This includes providing advice to government, professional bodies, national membership organisations and local authorities.  It also includes providing advice and support to qualifying bodies (town and parish councils, and neighbourhood forums) producing their own neighbourhood plans. 

Urban Vision is a delivery partner in the Government's 'Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning' programme, and acts as planning adviser to the lead partner, Locality.  More information about the Programme and Urban Vision's role in it can be found here.

Urban Vision wrote the 'Neighbourhood Plans Roadmap Guide' for Locality, which is being used by neighbourhood planning organisations and local authorities all around the country.  Find out more and download a copy of the Roadmap Guide here.

How we can help you produce your Neighbourhood Plan

Urban Vision has been involved in every stage of the production of a neighbourhood plan:

  • helping Neighbourhood Forums get established with a robust constitution and terms of reference, and achieve formal designation
  • helping parish councils and Neighbourhood Forums get their Neighbourhood Areas designated
  • preparing project plans to map out the route to making a neighbourhood plan
  • providing training for communities, local authorities, and professional and national membership organisations on the neighbourhood plan process and legal requirements
  • producing and delivering community engagement plans
  • developing a range of community engagement materials, including questionnaires, schools projects, and young people's competitions
  • facilitating community engagement events and analysing the results
  • helping develop a vision, aims and objectives for neighbourhood plans
  • advising on gathering and interpreting the evidence
  • producing urban design and heritage appraisals
  • producing a methodology for the selection of housing sites and helping apply it to the allocation of sites in neighbourhood plans
  • writing the policies and the plan, and providing relevant training, advice and support for qualifying bodies writing their own plans
  • reviewing draft plans
  • writing Consultation Statements, following pre-submission Regulation 14 consultation
  • advising on and writing Basic Conditions Statements, including Equality Impact Assessments to demonstrate compatibility with human rights obligations
  • acting as Independent Examiner
  • providing advice and publicity material for the Referendum
  • liaising with local planning authorities on the process, strategic local policy, and key decisions.

If you would like to talk about how we could help you produce your neighbourhood plan, please go to the Contact us page.

MEETING THE BASIC CONDITIONS - YOXALL NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

Urban Vision has helped Yoxall Parish Council get their Neighbourhood Plan to referendum, with a support package that included consultation workshops, sites selection, wirting the policies and the Plan, and writing the Basic Conditions Statement.

The independent examiner, Ann Skippers, complemented the Parish Council on the Basic Conditions Statement produced by Urban Vision when the Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to the local authority, East Staffordshire Borough Council.  In recommending that Plan proceed to referendum with modifiactions, she said

"Mention must also be made of the exemplary Basic Conditions Statement that is both systematic in its approach and coverage and I found to be a very helpful and useful document." 

Our work was also appreciated by David Harrison of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group who said "Thank you for all your help and support. Yoxall has been very well served by Urban Vision."

The Yoxall Neighbourhood Plan referendum is scheduled for 23 July 2015.

 

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANS - WHAT, WHY, HOW

Neighbourhood plans represent a significant commitment of time and energy. There are also financial costs associated with things like community engagement, printing and professional fees. Preparing a neighbourhood plan involves taking tough and sometimes controversial decisions. Yet more than 1,000 parish councils and neighbourhood forums in Engalnd have started preparing a neighbourhood plan for their local area. So what are the incentives that have led so many people to decide that neighbourhood planning is for them?

Urban Vision's Managing Director, Dave Chetwyn, explores these issues in this article he wrote for the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages and the Historic Towns Forum: Neighbourhood Plans - What, Why, How

Urban Vision is currently working on neighbourhood plans all around Engalnd, including in Warwickshire, Liverpool, Hampshire, Milton Keynes, and Darlington.  We are also a delivery partner on the government's Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning Programme and planning advisor for the lead partner, Locality.

 

TATTENHALL NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN JUDICIAL REVIEW - LESSONS FOR PRACTITIONERS

In May 2014 the judicial review of the legal challenge to the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan made by Barrett Homes and Wainhomes Developments was published.  This review by a senior high court judge, Mr Justice Supperstone, clarifies and confirms a number of matters regarding the production of Neighbourhood Plans.  

Tattenhall Parish Council in Cheshire West produced a Neighbourhood Plan which contained a restrictive policy limiting the scale of individual proposals for housing development to no more than 30 dwellings.  The claimants, who had planning applications for housing on large greenfield sites on the edge of the parish concurrently at appeal, challenged the legality of this policy, arguing that it had no evidence to support it and that other options, such as whether a strategy involving fewer large sites would offer a more suitable environmental alternative than a more dispersed pattern of development, had not been considered. 

The decision considers a range of complicating factors, which can be explored in detail by reading the full 34 page judgment.  For practitioners and communities preparing Neighbourhood Plans, however, a few simple lessons can be highlighted.  A summary of these can be found in this article by a director of Urban Vision Enterprise, Mick Downs: Lessons from Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan Judicial Review

 

Woodcote Neighbourhood Plan - success at referendum

Urban Vision helped produce the Woodcote Neighbourhood Plan, which was voted through at the referendum on 4 April 2014.  The turnout was 59.3% (1178 votes in total).  The YES vote was 1072 (91%) and the NO vote was 103 (8.7%).  There were 3 spoiled ballot papers. 

Geoff Botting, chair of the Woodcote Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, emailed Urban Vision to give us the news and said "We achieved a majority of those who voted and a majority of the entire parish electorate.  Once again many thanks for your help - I've said it before but we couldn't have done it without you."

 

Training on neighbourhood planning

Urban Vision has delivered training on neighbourhood planning to a wide range of organisations including

  • professional bodies such as the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Consultation Institute
  • national organisations such as the Historic Towns Forum, the National Trust, Locality and Design Council CABE
  • local authorities, including East Staffordshire Borough Council
  • academic organisations, such as Sheffield University
  • parish and town councils and neighbourhood forums, and community organisations.

Read about the neighbourhood planning training we provide here.

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