The Localism Bill currently going through Parliament seeks to devolve greater powers to local communities, giving you more control over housing and planning decisions through ‘neighbourhood planning’ and ‘neighbourhood development orders’.
Dudley Council is inviting its local communities to come together to plan for your neighbourhood.
There are many ways of influencing what development happens in your neighbourhood. One of the most effective ways of doing this as an individual is by influencing the policies and site allocations in Dudley Council’s Local Development Framework. You can do this by responding to the various public consultations that are advertised on this website. More details are available on what consultations are forthcoming on our ‘Local Development Scheme’ page.
As a community, if you feel that would wish to see more growth than is being promoted through the Local Development Framework, you can come together to create your own ‘neighbourhood plan’.
Through neighbourhood planning you can take a proactive role in shaping the future of your area. Once in place, these plans will comprise the framework for change in that area for the next 10 years.
Government has said that neighbourhood planning will help communities to play a greater role in finding creative and imaginative ways to overcome the pressures that development can create for conservation and local services and amenities. It could also help ensure that development is in line with local needs, provides greater public amenity and more certainty for developers. A neighbourhood plan would be able to identify the specific site or broad location, specify the form, size, type and design of new development.
Neighbourhood planning can be used to permit the development you want to see – in full or in outline – without the need for planning applications. This is called the ‘neighbourhood development order’ and it is part of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Neighbourhood Development Orders allow communities to relax regulations on certain developments on particular sites, such as side extensions and loft conversions, and approve development without requiring normal planning consent.
A Community Right to Build Order is a specific type of Neighbourhood Development Order. This will allow certain community organisations to bring forward smaller-scale development on a specific site, without the need for planning permission. This will give communities the freedom to develop, for instance, small-scale housing or other facilities that they want. Any benefit from this development will stay within the community and be used for the community’s benefit, for example, to maintain the affordable housing stock or provide and maintain local facilities such as playgrounds.
The Localism Bill is currently making its way through its parliamentary processes and it is likely that a number of changes will be made along the way. However, the process of neighbourhood planning can be started now with the intention of adopting the Plan once the Bill receives Royal Assent.
:: more information on ‘Preparing a Neighbourhood Plan’.
To talk to a planning officer about neighbourhood planning please see the contact details below.