Enjoy the latest Neighbourhood Planners.London Bulletin
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No. 36  May 2022
Government backs "strengthening neighbourhood planning" - After a long wait the Government's planning reforms are now committed to "strengthening neighbourhood planning" as part of a series of initiatives to "give communities a louder voice". The commitments are in the briefings for the Queen's Speech. Details are yet to be announced. Secretary of State Michael Gove has been described as having a BIDEN approach focusing on Beauty, Infrastructure, Democracy, Environment and Neighbourhoods. One impact is that this is expected to provide more flexibility on housing numbers and land supply constraints resulting in inappropriate development.
Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - The new legislation includes significant neighbourhood planning provisions, including:
  • new Basic Conditions requiring plans not to conflict with housing allocations in Local Plans or to result in less housing development than would otherwise be the case
  • a new Basic Condition to support newly defined environmental outcomes which replace the current requirement relating to environmental assessment
  • a new legal scope for neighbourhood plans (which can be viewed here) - this is broadly defined
  • barring neighbourhood plans repeating national development management policy (there are similar provisions for Local Plans)
  • supporting plans which address climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • scope to produce a "neighbourhood priorities statement" seemingly alongside or instead of a neighbourhood plan through a much more light touch process but without legal weight - these can only be prepared by neighbourhood forums or town/parish councils and are put forward as a way for them to have influence without going through the full neighbourhood plan process. We would welcome views on this initiative
The Bill also introduces Street Votes offering street level referendums on local design codes over infill and other small scale development (drawing on Policy Exchange's proposals in Strong Suburbs) and makes changes to the scope of the London Plan.
Hopcroft Forum referendum success - Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park now has London's 26th neighbourhood plan following the succesful referendum on the day of the local elections. 89% voted in favour of the Plan which has taken nearly eight years since designation of the Forum. We have updated our MAP and LIST to recognise the progress. Roman Road Bow, Pimlico and Lee are lining up to be the next Plans to pass Examination.
Neighbourhood Planners.London events - We're planning two events in the next few months:
  • an online launch of our latest State of Neighbourhood Planning in London report before the summer
  • our third Neighbourhood Planners.London conference, provisionally for the afternoon of 21 September, hosted by St John's Waterloo.
The agenda for the conference is still very much in development so get in touch if you have ideas and suggestions for what it might cover or something you would like to present.

We're also keen to hear from people who would like to get more involved in Neighbourhood Planners.London
Remember to renew - A growing number of London's neighbourhood forums are reaching the end of their first five year term. Don't forget to renew and start the conversations early as things don't always go smoothly. Mill Hill and Deptford have both been blocked despite their plans being at an advanced stage. East Shoreditch, Limehouse, Tooting Bec and Broadway, Isle of Dogs and Elephant & Walworth are just some of the Forums where the five years have expired 
Gaming and community engagement - Neighbourhood planning is known for the innovation and quality of its engagement in many communities. Gaming as a technique is getting more and more attention, with both online and real world initiatives. Minecraft has been used for online gaming. Other techniques include those used by Play the City which was covered by the BBC's Positive Thinking (listen here).
Tribute to Graham Pycock - We are remembering the energy and enthusiasm of Graham Pycock following the sad news of his recent death. Graham was a Neighbourhood Planners.London convener, Norwood Planning Assembly Chair, University of Westminster lecturer and so much more. Neighbourhood planning has lost a good friend. 

Neighbourhood Planners.London exists to support neighbourhood planners in London and raise the profile of neighbourhood planning in the capital.  Support us by offering your time or making a donation. You can find out more on our website, contact us by email or get involved on twitter using the links above.
This Bulletin is produced by Tony Burton on behalf of Neighbourhood Planners.London - we welcome feedback and please let us know of any errors

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