Communities to get new planning powers for their neighbourhoods

Local people will be able to have their say on the location of new homes, the design of buildings, the shops they want to see in the High Street, and the green spaces that should be protected.

The new powers being introduced in the Localism Bill will also give local people the power to decide the types of development that can be granted automatic planning permission, through a Neighbourhood Development Order.

The regulations being published for consultation make clear how a neighbourhood area will be defined, how to set up the forums that will propose plans, and will also outline the requirements for establishing a Neighbourhood Development Order.

An easy to understand guide to Neighbourhood Planning is also being published today to make it easier for communities to use the new powers.

Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark said:

"For the first time local people will have a real voice in deciding the look and feel of development in their area through Neighbourhood Planning.

"Communities will be able to shape their own vision for the future as they see fit. They will be able to protect what makes their town or village special, including green spaces, and have their say on the design and location of new homes.

"There has been real enthusiasm across the country to test out Neighbourhood Planning and today’s consultation is the next step in preparing the ground before the powers become widely available."

The regulations draw on existing procedures where possible to minimise the time communities and councils need to become familiar with the new system.

There are now 126 communities acting as ‘frontrunners’ for testing out the principles of Neighbourhood Planning. Applications are now being accepted for a fifth wave of frontrunners.

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