£22.8 fund to support neighbourhood planning

A support package worth £22.8 million has been launched by the Government in a bid to help communities have more say over developments in their area.

Working out at an approximate £5.5 million per year, the aim of the funding is to provide specialist support to communities in order to form a Neighbourhood Plan. Included in this will be decisions regarding the construction of shops, offices and green spaces, considering both where they should be built as well as their appearance.

This corresponds with the planning referendums which have occurred across the country, with over 400 being successful and boosting growth in local areas as a result.

Commenting on the beneficial impact of neighbourhood planning was Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma. He stated: ‘Neighbourhood planning gives communities a powerful set of tools to shape their area and drive local growth. The Government is committed to giving communities even more of a say in the development of their area, and that’s why we’re dedicating around £23 million between 2018 and 2022 to help groups create Neighbourhood Plans.’

According to the chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute, over 274 groups have been worked with to further develop their neighbourhood plans.

Trudi Elliott also highlighted that whilst the passion that people have in shaping their neighbourhoods is clear, there’s a definite need to make this process simpler.

‘We know how much people care about these plans and how important they are in shaping places and building public trust in the planning system. It’s also clear from our experience that people need support to make the plan-making experience easier and worthwhile, so this latest funding is very welcome.’

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