Obviously, preparing a Neighbourhood Plan is going to cost money. But who pays for what?
The Dept of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) says that the cost of preparing a neighbourhood plan will be met partly by the local planning authority (ie Cornwall Council) and partly by the promoters of the neighbourhood plans (i.e. the Town Council), and that there will be some financial support from Central Government.
The concept is that costs to the local council can be kept down by using volunteer time in doing the ‘footwork’ of preparing the Plan, such as carrying out surveys, data collection, engagement and consultation work etc, Councillors time in project management, the use of council premises for events, meetings etc., sponsorship by local companies and agencies, and contributions ‘in-kind’ from experts and professionals who live locally.
Core costs to Liskeard Town Council
Some ‘core costs’ are unavoidable. These are things like public engagement and consultation, publicity, printing of documents.
In addition it will be necessary to commission expert studies, such as flood risk assessments , environmental impact assessments etc and ‘masterplan’ type documents. However it’s possible that these costs could be reduced by using volunteers to collect data and record local conditions, or for contributions-in-kind and ‘expert volunteering’ to play a part.
Cost to Cornwall Council
Cost to the Cornwall Council will include arranging and covering costs of the independent examination, arranging and holding the referendum, officer time requirements in providing expertise and advice, administrative costs and legal fees for processing the statutory elements of a Neighbourhood Plan.
Budget forecast for the Liskeard Neighborhood Plan.
Our current forecast is for the plan to cost about £56,000 to produce, comprising:
- Starting up – Nil
- Ensuring community support for process – Nil
- Organisation – £2,650
- Communication and engagement strategy – £1,450
- Community Engagement/Scoping Events – £1,690
- Option Setting/Consultation – £1,750
- Expert studies, surveys, preparation and printing of Draft Plan – £33,700
- Preparation, printing and promotion of Final Plan, Referendum – £2,900
- Making Plan – £1,100
- Other Costs and Contingency – £10,625
Town Council funding of £14,400 has been earmarked towards this cost. Grant aid from Locality and Cornwall Council of £4,750 has already been awarded, and £8,975 of volunteer effort has already been committed. Further grants from Locality and Cornwall Council totaling £3,750 are anticipated. The remaining £24,125 will come through additional volunteer input, further grant aid, and sponsorship/contributions-in-kind where appropriate. Its also anticipated that some of the expert study costs will be avoided or minimized by use of existing studies.