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NALC wants fewer neighbourhood plans overturned at appeal

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NALC is calling for fewer neighbourhood plans to be overturned at appeal. It firmly believes that if communities are to welcome new development, they must first feel in control.  There must be a clear signal from government that local communities are really able to make plans that will have effect.  This means significantly reducing the incidence of neighbourhood plans being overturned at appeal due to circumstances beyond their control.

Cllr. Sue Baxter, NALC Chairman said, ”We firmly believe communities need to be given more control in the neighbourhood planning and appeals arena.  There are a few simple changes the Government can make to do this and, crucially, to reduce the number of planning appeals.  We back the recommendations from the recent Wargent and Parker report ‘Re-imagining neighbourhood governance: the future of neighbourhood planning in England’.  We call for more equitable plan-making with all local communities encouraged (but not compelled) to develop neighbourhood plans and being offered adequate support.  We want better joint working between local communities and planning authorities and Government should better fund local planning authorities to assist with neighbourhood planning.  There needs to be greater social inclusion in the planning process.  We want to see an improved quality of neighbourhood plans.  There is an urgent need for relieving of tensions between local plans and neighbourhood plans (not least where the former is absent or out of date).  And we want to see enhanced community control involving blocks of communities which have completed neighbourhood plans (including local councils) playing a bigger role in strategic plan making.  We are happy to attend any of the Government’s regional stakeholder events on the subject of planning appeals, later in the year.”

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