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Neighbourhood Planning: Frontrunner Survey, November 2011

Neighbourhood Planning: Frontrunner Survey, November 2011

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Published by Jon Herbert
Results of survey of all local authorities awarded 'frontrunner' status and early progress made with their neighbourhood plans.
Results of survey of all local authorities awarded 'frontrunner' status and early progress made with their neighbourhood plans.

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Published by: Jon Herbert on Sep 01, 2012
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Lessons from the Frontrunners
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
Contact us
 To find out more, to learn howwe can help you or to register forfuture Neighbourhood Planningupdates and news, please contact:
Jon Herbert
0207 053 1492
John Pounder 
0207 053 1489 
Connect with us:
Join the Neighbourhood Planninggroup on LinkedIn:http://lnkd.in/aVatYm
Follow us:
Debate with us:
Q3:How has the plan boundary been defined?
In rural areas it appears that the plan boundary has been relatively easy to define,relating to parish or village boundaries in most instances.In urban areas however the picture is more complicated. A variety of means hasbeen used to try and define the boundary. Some have made use of existing planboundaries, for example, those defined as conservation areas or in SPDs. Some arerelying upon natural features and physical boundaries to demarcate the area. Othersare basing the boundary on catchment areas around a facility or site that will formthe main focus of the Plan. Others say that the boundary will be defined through thecourse of preparing the plan. There is clearly no definitive answer.
Q4:What will be in the Neighbourhood Plan?
Most respondents are unclear as to what will be in the plan, saying that it is too earlyto determine and that it will be informed by the consultation process and evidencegathering. Conversely, most know what the plan will not contain beyond theproduction of general planning policies and principles.44% of all respondents said the plan would not comprise any of the five listed items. Inthese areas, it is unclear what form the final plan will take. Although it may be too early to say, responses might suggest that the neighbourhoodplans being prepared are not focussed on growth but rather on what the place shouldbe. Where Neighbourhood Plans do not provide information on sites, developmentquantum and mix, the local plan will take precedence on those issues.
Q5:How long will it take to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan?
36% of all respondents suggested that the plan would take up to eighteen months toprogress from commencement through to submission for examination purposes.For those that said the Neighbourhood Plan would include all five items specified inquestion 4 (above), the figure rose to 65% of all respondents saying the plan wouldtake up to eighteen months.But, for those who are unsure what form the plan will take, there is no clear view onhow long the plan will take.Either way, with the examination and referendum added in, and the draft regulationsrequiring an upfront proposal to make a plan to be submitted for consultation andconsideration, the whole process could take time.Page 2
What will be in the plan?Yes (%)No (%)
Sites allocated for development3664Mix and quantum of development3862General principles and policies5149 A masterplan2476Design guidance3664

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