Parish Councils and The Localism Act – Neighbourhood Planning, Community Right to Build and the Community Infrastructure Levy

28 03 2012

The Stilwell Partnership Consulting Civil Engineers
The Stilwell Partnership has been actively supporting Local Councils for 20 years. We continue to serve the local community groups including Residents Associations, Local Traders and Parish Councils. Our innovative approach combining sustainable solutions to Transport, Drainage and Energy has created safe and sustainable development for the benefit of the whole community.

Three Ways that The Stilwell Partnership can help your local community group:
Progressing the Neighbourhood Development Plan

  • We can quickly and cost-effectively give you technical advice, in support of your local consultation with clear and informative material

Bringing Improvements to your community

  • Discuss your conceptual proposals with us
  • Let us detail those ideas and help you bring the ideas to reality
  • An outline scheme and budget price will cost you less than you think

Creating places: Walton-on-Thames High Street improvement

Concerns about proposed developments affecting your community?

  • Call us and we will give you an impartial opinion

Stilwell Highway evidence leads to rejection of Lightwater Tesco Appeal.

Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP)
Local communities will have genuine opportunities to influence the future of the places where they live. Neighbourhood Planning will allow communities to come together through a local parish council or “neighbourhood forum” and say where they think new houses, businesses and shops should go – and what they should look like.
The Localism Act introduces a new right for communities to draw up a “Neighbourhood Development Plan” (NDP). Communities will be able to use NDPs to set policies for development and use of land in their neighbourhoods and through the use of Neighbourhood Development Orders can permit development – in full or in outline. These NDPs could be very simple, or go into considerable detail as necessary.
Not all Planning decisions can be made at a neighbourhood or local level, such as those affecting environmental issues (like flooding), public transport networks or major new retail parks.

Community right to build
The Act gives groups of local people the power to deliver development that their local community wants. They may wish to build new homes, businesses, shops, playgrounds or meeting halls. Providing that they meet minimum criteria and can demonstrate local support through a local referendum, the scheme will be able to go ahead without requiring a separate traditional Planning Application.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
The Act proposes changes to the CIL to make it more flexible. Some of the money raised from the levy may be directed towards neighbourhoods where the development is taking place. This will help ensure that the people who say “yes” to new development feel the benefit of that decision.
A new housing development, for example, might create extra traffic on existing local roads. Without mitigating measures, the development might produce too many strains on infrastructure and too many problems for local people to find acceptable. If, however, extra money available from the “new homes bonus” were to be invested in, say, a new roundabout and traffic calming measures, then the development might be acceptable.

NB Localism Bill details extracted from A plain English guide to the Localism Bill update; Published June 2011 by Department for Communities and Local Government

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