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No. 25  February 2020
And then there were SIXTEEN........made neighbourhood plans in London. Congratulations to Dartmouth Park on an 88% YES vote in its referendum, completing a journey which began in 2013.
Our next conference - can you help? We're planning for the third Neighbourhood Planners.London Conference before the summer. Can you help with a venue that is low cost/free; accessible by public transport and has capacity for at least 130 participants? Drop us a line if you can help. 
Latest MAP and LIST - Following Dartmouth Park, we have referendums being lined up for Camley Street and Highams Park. West Finchley and Isle of Dogs (second time) have submitted plans and Redington & Frognal is consulting on a draft. South Woodford has broken the drought in Redbridge and Wimbledon looks set to end Merton's reign as a neighbourhood planning desert. There is new interest in Poplar and Brentford. Our updated MAP and LIST provides the latest picture and has benefitted from volunteer input scouring Forum websites. If you want to look further afield the excellent Plan Finder has details of over 950 plans across England.
Building Better, Building Beautiful - The Government supported Commission published its final report in January. There's a strong emphasis on effective engagement as well as design quality and it states that "The right approach in towns and cities is likely to involve more powers at the city mayor level, whilst maintaining an important role for boroughs and a growing role for neighbourhood forums." 
Drum roll for GLA Planning Committee report  - The long awaited report on neighbourhood planning is to be published imminently by the GLA's Planning Committee. Neighbourhood Planners.London was well represented at the oral evidence sessions along with volunteers from forums across the capital. Watch out for news on twitter and online
NEW BLOG - Can you trust neighbourhood forums? - We have published a blog from Chris Mountain, Chair of Ickenham Forum, which summarises his research on the way neighbourhood forums organise and govern themselves. It also provides encouraging information on the reach of neighbourhood forums into more disadvantaged communities.
London Plan - The Greater London Assembly has given the green light to the London Plan and the only barrier to its adoption is an intervention from the Secretary of State (which must be made by 17th February).  Understanding the new Plan is essential in order to pass the Basic Conditions. It also confirms the role for neighbourhood plans as part of the three-tier development plan in London.
National Trust guidance on heritage - The National Trust has published a Guide to Heritage in Neighbourhood Plans. It provides a simple guide to the neighbourhood planning process along with a special emphasis on the natural and historic environment.
Forum establishes legal standing for unincorporated community groups - Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum has established legal precedent for all unincorporated community groups (not just forums) to have the ability to undertake judicial review. This emerged from its challenge to Leeds City Council in the High Court about plans for Green Belt release. 
Housing audit shows mediocre or poor design quality - A review of 140 new housing developments undertaken by UCL for CPRE and Place Alliance concludes that 75% should not have gone ahead because of the poor quality of design. London performs better than most among a poor bunch. We are expecting more from the Government on design later this year, including a national design code.
Civic Voice manifesto seeks overhaul of community engagement - Civic Voice - the national organisation for the network of civic societies across England - has published a manifesto calling for a move away from ‘confrontation to collaboration’ and from ‘consultations to conversations’. Neighbourhood planning has an important role to play. 
London's Local Plans reviewed - The TCPA has completed a review of London's Local Plans which addresses the approach to community engagement and equalities. It draws on Neighbourhood Planners.London research and backs a stronger role for neighbourhood planning.

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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