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Neighbourhood planning and the historic environment- Ian Culley, RTPI CPD

Neighbourhood planning and the historic environment- Ian Culley, RTPI CPD



Ian Cully - RTPI CPD

Ian Cully - RTPI CPD



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  • To explain the context for Neighbourhood Planning in Wolverhampton. To explain the importance of robust Project Management . To consider the nature of the evidence we advise is necessary to support the Plans. To summarise the story so far and the issues emerging from the Neighbourhood Plans. To think about lessons learned , and how we are preparing for the next stages.
  • Metropolitan City with population of 239,100 making it the 13 th largest City in England. Close ties to the Black Country and Birmingham, and to rural Staffordshire, Shropshire and Telford. Rich social and cultural mix, with a well deserved reputation as a tolerant, open and welcoming City. Challenged by contraction in traditional sectors, outmigration to the Shires and legacy of large areas of vacant / underused land.
  • Say want to focus on TNP and HP NP, as Bilston not progressed that far yet
  • Govt amendments the minimum number of people who can set one up is raised from 3 to 21 (but they can worship and work there as well as living there, or be councillors), as well as furthering well-being of individuals, its purpose can also be to promote the carrying on of business in the area.  This falls short of business organisations’ lobbying for forums to be able to consist of businesses only, though (160) The criteria for local authorities to accept bids for forums are supplemented by the forum having had to have tried to recruit a broad section of the community and all of the three categories of residents, businesses and councillors.  Another amendment provides that neighbourhood forums can be set up that straddle the boundaries between more than one local authority.
  • Resources in community
  • Countryside
  • Urban – but comples
  • For all the differences – the process is similar
  • Down and out council estate dominates Important to dispel the myths about the area – characterisation helps to promote positive image of the area – outside and also inside – civic pride
  • Tenants & Residents Association existed as basis for finding volunteers – didn’t go in cold. Oxford short form used but expanded version & guidance too complex – had to simplify & adapt
  • Summarising results was the real challenge – a skill that can’t be taught in a short time. PQ had to do much of this work – took longer than expected. Those who got involved were those involved in other aspects of the plan to all very busy. School students got caught up in exams etc. People had lots to say but didn’t get to grips with scoring Time and issue rather than capability -
  • 11 Zones – subdivided again for fieldwork Results can go onto HER – some on Local List – already influencing decisions
  • CA designation – lots of enthusiasm – seen as important for image of the area
  • Evidence could challenge pre-conceptions

Neighbourhood planning and the historic environment- Ian Culley, RTPI CPD Neighbourhood planning and the historic environment- Ian Culley, RTPI CPD Presentation Transcript

  • NeighbourhoodPlanning and theHistoricEnvironmentAWolverhamptonPerspective
  • The Presentation• The Wolverhamptoncontext, and the story sofar• The Neighbourhood Plans• Emerging Issues• Principles and Approach• Case Study: HeathfieldPark• Lessons• Next steps• Questions
  • Part 1 – The WolverhamptonContext
  • Strategic Planning Context– Black Country Core Strategy adopted February 2011 based onreversing population decline, supporting economic growth andenvironmental enhancement.– Target of 14,000 new homes, improved employment areas andvibrant City Centre by 2026 for Wolverhampton.– Core Strategy identifies a Growth Network of the City Centre andRegeneration Corridors where new development will befocussed.• Area Action Plans being prepared to promote development in theGrowth Network.– Neighbourhood Plans will also support the Core Strategy byproviding a detailed planning framework for some areas outsidethe Growth Network.
  • Neighbourhood Planning –the story so far• Bid for Frontrunner status in March2011 for three Plans.• DCLG award of £20,000 toprogress each plan• Cabinet approval to progress theHeathfield Park and TettenhallPlans secured in June, and Bilstonin September 2011.• Plans largely based on LocalNeighbourhood Partnership areasand Neighbourhood Forumsestablished December 2012• Draft Plans produced April 2013
  • Tettenhall Neighbourhood Plan• Attractive western suburbanfringe location with areas ofGreen Belt, outside the GrowthNetwork• Population of 22,000 and highproportion of professionalhouseholds• Strong community interest inplanning with existing LNPPlanning and ConservationGroup• Area sought after by propertydevelopers to build high qualityhomes• Pressure on back-landdevelopment out of characterwith the area
  • Heathfield Park Plan• Small and densely populatedarea on the edge of the CityCentre.• Population of 7,320 with highlevels of deprivation, dominatedby Heath Town Estate and NewCross Hospital.• Focus for housing renewalactivity, improve image andaccess to open spaces andcommunity facilities.
  • Emerging Issues….• Very different areas with variable detail in StrategicPlanning context• But strong commonality on the issues for the Plans toaddress:– Traffic and congestion– Providing a better choice and mix of housing, but with limitedopportunities for new development– Protecting environmental assets, local character anddistinctiveness– Better access to employment opportunities– Protection of community facilities and better local services– Reconciling competing priorities
  • Governance arrangements and the roleof the Council• Governance arrangements and WCC support– Community directly supported by Local Neighbourhood Partnership Officerson a day to day basis as well as regular liaison with Planning Officer– Sign off of work by the Local Neighbourhood Partnership Board– Approvals currently required from WCC Cabinet at key stages– WCC Financial support for evidence, consultation and Examination /referendum £50-70K per plan in addition to CLG grant.– WCC Professional support of 2.5 FTE between Planning and LNP Servicefor the three Plans• Community Resource– People committed to the Plan, some with Planning skills others dedicatingtime– Monthly Steering Group meetings to progress Plans, with additionalmeetings during busy periods– Steering Group essential, with sub-groups where/when needed
  • Part 2 –The HistoricEnvironment – Principles andApproach
  • Getting Started • Prince’sFoundationWorkshops• Presentations• Break outdiscussions• Summaryreport
  • Extract from Prince’s Foundation report:
  • HLCData was alreadyData was alreadyavailable.available.Black CountryBlack CountryHistoric landscapeHistoric landscapeCharacterisation.Characterisation.BUT – no valueBUT – no valuejudgements …judgements …
  • Whetting the community appetite!• Historicaldevelopment• Current knowledge– LBs, Cas, LocalList, HER etc• Concepts ofcharacter and localdistinctiveness
  • CommunityCharacterisation• AAPs –characterisation‘Top down’• NPs – ‘Bottom up’• http://www.placecheck.info/
  • Community Characterisation –the challenge• Tettenhall &Heathfield Park• Different areas• Differentcommunities &capabilities• Different agendasand concerns• Value their heritage• Care about theplaces they live in• Need help andguidance to do theirowncharacterisation.
  • Tettenhall• Attractive, leafy suburbs,• Relatively affluentresidents,• Recognised heritage – 6CAs, 94 LBs etc.
  • HeathfieldParkReputation & imageclosely associated witha large complex of1960s flatsPhoto:MatthewWhitehouseNeed for regeneration:could this be based on‘hidden’ heritage?
  • – Recruit volunteers– Training : archives– Training : fieldwork(Oxford Toolkit)– Research /fieldwork– ReportApproachMembersofHeathTownTenants’andResidents’Assn.(WolverhamptonHomes)
  • Issues– Not enoughvolunteers– Volunteers alreadyoverworked– How to scorepositive & negativecharacter?– Process took muchlonger thananticipated(July to June)StationFieldsNatureReserve,siteofWolverhampton’sfirststationin1837
  • Keyviews50% increasein heritageassetsProductsCharacterZoneprofiles
  • Part 3 – Next steps and lessonslearned
  • Next steps• Policy development Jan-May 2013 – turning theevidence into Policy• Finalisation of draft plans for consultation May-June 2013• Neighbourhood Forum approval Summer 2013• Consultation on Draft Plans Autumn 2013• Examination early 2014• Referendum Summer 2014
  • • Historic characterisation needs to start early inthe Neighbourhood Planning process, and put alot of effort in early to make sure projectmanagement arrangements are fit for purpose.• It’s part of getting to know the area: Local peoplethink they know their area but even long-standing residents found things they didn’t know.• Volunteer involvement is not necessarily acheap way forward – it’s rather a way ofengaging communitiesLessons 1
  • Lessons 2• Understand how the evidence will be used toinform the Plan, not to reinforce existing pre-conceptions.• It’s been a positive experience for all parties.• Buy-in at all levels and across all organisationsis critical.• Celebrate short-term wins to make it real.• Success should be measured in a number ofways – appreciate the ‘soft’ wins and not just theend product.
  • Questions• Contact details:ian.culley@wolverhampton.gov.uksue.whitehouse@wolverhampton.gov.uk• Website links:Wolverhampton LDF www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/ldfTettenhall Neighbourhood Planwww.ourplaceourplan.org.ukHeathfield Park Neighbourhood Plan - www.wton-partnership.org.uk/heathfield-park