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No. 24  November 2019
Fifteen made neighbourhood plans - Overwhelming YES votes in the Mayfair (residents 86%, businesses 91%) and South Bank & Waterloo (residents 92%, businesses 91%) referendums brings the total number of neighbourhood plans in force in London to 15. South Bank & Waterloo is the first cross-boundary business neighbourhood in the country. Congratulations to all involved. Details of all 15 are on our website. Dartmouth Park and Highams Park are next up with no dates yet set.
Latest MAP and LIST - The spread of neighbourhood planning continues across the capital. Deptford is one recent area to see its plan go out to consultation. It includes a design code seeking to govern development in the key area of Convoys Wharf. Our updated MAP and LIST provides the latest picture. The extract shows the two new made plans at the heart of London.
Official boost for design quality - The Government has published a new National Design Guide and issued new Planning Practice Guidance on design processes and tools. As trailed at our conference in June there is strong recognition of the important role to be played by neighbourhood plans in securing design quality and there is support for the design toolkit for neighbourhood planning. A National Design Code is in preparation and local authorities are beng asked to prepare their own.
Mayor backs design review - The Mayor has published a Quality Review Charter as a benchmark for design review and similar design tools. The absence or inconsistent quality of design review has been a concern for a number of neighbourhood forums.
Boost for local heritage - The Government has thrown its weight behind a new campaign for every local authority to have a local list and to support communities identify local heritage which is important to them. Many neighbourhood plans already identify locally significant buildings. Historic England's guide to local listing provides helpful advice and a method used by many neighbourhood forums.
London Plan Examination - The Inspectors' report on the London Plan has been published. Attention has focused on recommendations to reduce housing numbers on the basis of unrealistic assumptions about the capacity of small sites and to support a strategic review of the Green Belt in time for the next plan. There is limited content on neighbourhood planning. The report is content with the detailed nature of many of the London Plan's policies while also agreeing they are all "strategic" for the purpose of neighbourhood planning. Mayor Khan has signalled he is unlikely to accept all the recommendations.
Neighbourhoods and participation - Two initiatives by Centre for London have focused on issues central to neighbourhood planning. We have written an essay on London's neighbourhood planning experience in Act Local: Empowering London's neighbourhoods including ten reasons why it should win more support. We were also a sponsor of the Developing Trust conference exploring public participation in planning.
Minecraft meets neighbourhood planning - The Lewes neighbourhood plan has been informed by a range of approaches to engage young people. This included the use of the popular Minecraft video game organised by Brighton based CIC BlockBuilders
Neighbourhood planning network for the North West - We're delighted to be joined in our efforts to support neighbourhood planning by a new network just launched for north west England. The North West Neighbourhood Planning Network intends "to provide networking, sharing of information, contacts and advice to neighbourhood planning bodies across the NW region." 
Accessibility Regulations come into force - New laws requiring public sector websites to meet minimum standards of accessibility are now in force for new websites and must be met by September 2020 for existing ones. Accessibility considerations include vision, hearing, mobility and dealing with autism or dyslexia. Some local authorities are already expecting neighbourhood plan documents to meet the new requirements. The details behind the new requirements and futher links to what they mean can be found here. Let us know of your experiences, good and bad.

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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