In October 2011 we surveyed all 126 Neighbourhood Planning Frontrunnerson their work to date, how they are going about the process of preparing aNeighbourhood plan, the issues faced and any advice they would give others.We received responses from 45 of the frontrunners: a response rate of 36%.Responses were received from frontrunners all across the country, in rural andurban areas, parished and unparished.We would like to thank all who responded and are pleased to present asummary of the
Q1:Who is leading the Neighbourhood Plan?
The vast majority of the Neighbourhood Plans are being led by the communitiesthemselves: only 5 of the 45 who responded were local authority led. Those leading the process tend to be Parish Councils in parished areas, thoughmany are following a ‘partnership’ approach, with steering groups establishedcomprising the parish, community organisations and local authority.Where Neighbourhood Forums have been established, some have taken advantageof existing bodies and organisations to lead the plan, including for example residentsassociations.
Q2:How is the funding being spent?
Most authorities are spending the money on supporting in-house resources andor passing it directly to the community (the Parish or a Forum) to decide what todo with it. Others are spending the money on organising, running and facilitatingcommunity consultation events. Some are holding the money back for the purposesof document production, the examination and referendum. The funding is being spread thinly and completion of the plan may need to rely on thegoodwill of the authority to support the whole process, as well as the free time beingprovided by community groups and organisations.•••••Page 1
Lessons from the Frontrunners
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SKM COLIN BUCHANAN