Research published in March by planning and development consultants Turley shows that to date, over 980 designation applications have been made by neighbourhood organisations. Of these, over 750 areas have been approved by local authorities to proceed. However, only 75 neighbourhood plans have been published for consultation, and only six Neighbourhood Plans were formally in place at the end of February 2014. There are 11 Business Neighbourhood Plans under preparation, which cover areas like trading estates, business parks or town centres.
The take up of neighbourhood plans is concentrated in the south of England, generally in more affluent areas within Conservative-led authorities. Areas of below average affluence have been less involved in the neighbourhood planning processes, with just nine plans published in areas categorised as ‘most deprived’.
As to motivation, it seems that there are as many seeking to resist development as there are to provide for it. Over half (55 per cent) of all neighbourhood plans seek primarily to resist new development, with that number increasing to 63 per cent in rural areas. There is clearly a potential for conflict between localism delivered through neighbourhood planning and the positive presumptions and growth that underpin Government policy.
The research found that the smallest population of a neighbourhood plan area is Walton in West Yorkshire representing just 225 people, and the largest is Winsford (Cheshire) with over 30,000 people. Sixty-seven per cent of all published plans cover rural neighbourhoods.Share this...