Neighbourhood Planning: where and why

In 2010 the UK government took the decision to introduce a citizen-led level of land use planning. This was placed on a statutory footing for the first time through the Localism Act passed in 2011 – which formalised Neighbourhood Planning (NP). The advent of NP has added to an existing direction of travel in seeking the knowledge, understanding skills and time of people rooted in communities with a view to them actively shaping the future of their area.
Government argued that: ‘in recent years, planning has tended to exclude, rather than to include, people and communities. In part, this has been a result of targets being imposed, and decisions taken, by bodies remote from them. …and introducing neighbourhood planning addresses this’  (DCLG, 2012: pi). However NP is not straightforward and despite the challenge of successfully producing a Plan many communities have taken up that challenge and a lot of material, experience and commentary has been generated. We wanted to highlight and signpost such work here to inform and support all stakeholders for what is essentially a co-produced form of planning.