Monday, 06 July 2015

Neighbourhood plans backed by £3.2m fund

The government will provide free advice to communities creating a neighbourhood plan, the decentralisation minister has announced.

Neighbourhood plans, which are being introduced through he Localism Bill, will give local people a chance to set design standards and location of new housing.

Greg Clark announced that four planning organisations will share a £3.2 million fund to provide assistance to local groups developing the plans.

Communities will be able to take up free advice and guidance through the Prince’s Foundation, Locality, the Royal Town Planning Institute, and the National Association of Local Councils in partnership with the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Advice could take the form of practical workshops with local authorities and community groups, on-line resources, networking tools and telephone advice lines.

Mr Clark said: ‘It is vital that grass root community groups are able to access specialist support and advice if their vision for their neighbourhood is to be truly realised. Making sure community groups have free access to a number of organisations means they can choose the experts that best suit their needs.’

Hank Dittmar, chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation, said: ‘Empowering local communities is now a welcome part of the planning process, and this grant will enable The Prince’s Foundation to use its extensive track record to help people plan in a positive way for growth and better neighbourhoods.’

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