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No. 35  March 2022
Reprieve for Neighbourhood Planning Support Programme - Just a week before the current four year programme came to an end it has been announced that Government funding and technical support for neighbourhood planning will continue into 2023. It is expected to be "in line with the approach of the last four years". The new programme is not yet open to applications. We have asked the Government to involve neighbourhood planning groups in designing an improved programme post 2023.
More neighbourhood planning progress - Neighbourhood forums across London continue to make progress, including: All the details provided on the Neighbourhood Planners.London MAP and LIST. Please check your own area and let us know if anything has changed, including contact details, social media, website and your progress with a plan.
Neighbourhood planning "will remain and on a statutory basis" - Neighbourhood Planners.London participated in a closed roundtable with DLUHC Planning Minister Stuart Andrew at the end of March which was told "I am keen to get communities involved much earlier on and shape the areas where they live....Neighbourhood planning will remain and on a statutory basis". The "radical reform unlike anything we have seen since the Second World War" promised in the Planning White Paper and a separate Planning Bill look unlikely and we can expect more incremental change. 
Made Plans - learning the lessons - Neighbourhood Planners.London hosted a lively event earlier in the year with presentations from neighbourhood forums with completed plans in Central Ealing, Isle of Dogs, Fitzrovia West and South Bank & Waterloo. We looked at experience of delivering on the ambitions of made plans and how to sustain interest in the neighbourhood forum after this key milestone has been achieved. The presentations can be seen here
London forums leading on design code pilots - Neighbourhood forums for South Woodford and Finsbury Park & Stroud Green will each benefit from £30k in a Government funded pilot for locally produced design codes. Ony four out of 25 grants went to neighbourhood planning groups. We're looking forward to hearing how the work has gone and learning lessons for other parts of the capital.
Piloting "simpler approach" to neighbourhood plans - The Government is providing £95k to support 11 local authorities explore simpler approaches to neighbourhood planning and pilot new ways of working in "underrepresented areas". None are in London. The pilots provide some indication of official thinking about the future of neighbourhood planning. We've questioned why the funding is going to local authorities and not neighbourhood planning groups and emphasised the need for neighbourhood planning to continue to be a community right to prepare a document which forms part of the "development plan"
Neighbourhood planners in the lead on Local Green Space - 83% of the 6,515 Local Green Space designations in the last decade are down to neighbourhood plans according to new CPRE research. The work finds 117 Local Green Spaces in London and supports a strengthening of neighbourhood planning.
"No London park or green space is safe from development" - CPRE London - Hot on the heels of CPRE's national research on the value of Local Green Space comes research from CPRE London identifying more than fifty parks and green spaces under threat from development. Forever Green documents threats to Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land, local parks, sports fields, nature reserves, green spaces in housing estates and areas protected by covenants.
Green space deficiency - building the evidence - Neighbourhood forums wanting to understand where deficiencies in access to nature and to open space can be found will be interested in new maps from Greenspace Information for Greater London. These could be used as part of the evidence base for Plan policies and are available through most Boroughs.
"Levelling Up" communities - The Government's Levelling Up White Paper includes commitments to "widen accessibility to neighbourhood planning"; to "making it easier for local people and community groups to come together to set local priorities and shape their neighbourhoods"; to "put them in the driving seat"; to "strengthen community infrastructure" and to "launching a review of neighbourhood governance". Find out more here
CIL to "support neighbourhood and community activity" - Reform of the Community Infrastructure Levy appears to still be a Government priority despite uncertainty over other planning reforms. New legislation could come forward this year and of interest to neighbourhood planners is the Levelling Up White Paper's statement that the Government will "explore how the existing Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) can be used to support neighbourhood and community activity where Parish Councils do not exist across England and continue the neighbourhood portion of CIL as it introduces a new Infrastructure Levy". The lack of equivalent control for neighbourhood forums as parish & town councils on CIL receipts has long been highlighted as a loophole.  
Talk London - City Hall's online community - The GLA has set up Talk London, an initiative to engage Londoners in the future London Plan and other policies. It has attracted over 63,000 sign ups and provides a way of keeping in touch with City Hall initiatives. City Hall planners are also inviting views on a range of design related guidance.
Contribute to neighbourhood planning research - Newcastle University is undertaking research into the benefits of neighbourhood planning for communities. It follows earlier research into how well the planning system operates "in the public interest". Get in touch with the researchers if you are interested in contributing - details here.

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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