Planning Aid - an introduction


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An introduction to Planning Aid as a way of achieving community goals, from Richard Hammersley

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Planning Aid - an introduction

  1. 1. Getting Involved in Planning Decisions Engaging with the Town Planning Process
  2. 2. Getting Involved in Planning Decisions <ul><li>Why should people be involved in planning decision-making? </li></ul><ul><li>3 good reasons : </li></ul><ul><li>- enhancing democracy and empowering people </li></ul><ul><li>- using the planning system to achieve community objectives and projects, enabling the Big Society to function properly </li></ul><ul><li>- using local knowledge to improve what actually happens. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Getting Involved in Planning Decisions <ul><li>What gets in the way of community involvement? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of awareness of what can be done to respond to issues. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of awareness of ways to face up to private developers and public bureaucrats. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of resources to access appropriate expertise. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Getting Involved in Planning Decisions <ul><li>Communities need a little help in overcoming the barriers to involvement. </li></ul><ul><li>For the Big Society to work, communities need to access expertise. </li></ul><ul><li>For town planning expertise, there is Planning Aid . </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is Planning Aid? <ul><li>A service providing free, independent and professional advice on town planning issues to community groups and individuals who cannot afford professional fees. </li></ul><ul><li>A national service of the Royal Town Planning Institute, delivered regionally. </li></ul><ul><li>Funded partly by CLG and partly from donations. </li></ul>
  6. 6. How do we do it? <ul><li>A small core of paid staff with volunteers who provide advice and support through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>explaining procedures and policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>helping write letters and statements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>helping communities develop their own ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>assisting in facilitating community/local planning authority participation events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>educational projects with young and old </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>offering training to community groups. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Getting Involved in Planning Decisions <ul><li>What sorts of planning decisions are there? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies : the basis and guidelines for making decisions about individual projects – mostly found in national “ Policy Statements ” and local “ Development Plans/ Frameworks ” (including ‘Core Strategies’ and ‘Supplementary Planning Documents’) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Permissions : granting or refusing applications to carry out a project, plus all the negotiations leading up that decision (“ Development Management ”). </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Influencing Planning Decisions: Policies <ul><li>Reasons for wanting to influence decisions relating to Development Plans : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decisions on individual planning applications should ‘conform’ to Development Plan policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if a Development Plan says “ yes ”, then it is difficult for a Planning Authority to say “ no ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Objecting to a Planning Application may be TOO LATE! </li></ul>
  9. 9. Influencing Planning Decisions: Policies <ul><li>A further reason : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development Plan processes are also a mechanism for committing the Council (and other public agencies) to address issues , such as new roads, housing renewal, environmental improvements – and can pave the way to, say, a Development Trust project. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Development Plan policy is a major step towards seeing things happen! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Influencing Planning Decisions: Planning Applications <ul><li>Reasons for wanting to influence decisions relating to Development Management : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oppose proposals in principle as being in the wrong place and/or at the wrong time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amend proposals in design and detail. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enabling opportunities for improvements to your community and environment. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Influencing Planning Decisions: Planning Applications <ul><li>Using development to enable (finance) new local infrastructure – physical and social: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>roads/traffic management, flood barriers … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>schools, clinics, community centres … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>open space, leisure centres, nature conservation … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>affordable housing. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mechanisms: s106 Agreements, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Influencing Planning Decisions: Making A Case <ul><li>Make your comments as clear and concise as you can, focusing on your particular objection/ idea, but referring to the wider context. </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to find evidence to back up your arguments – do your own research: egs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>affordable housing: find out how many potential households there are (Housing Department) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>protect an area of open space: find out if there is a local deficiency (NPFA/Sport England) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and guidance from Planning Aid! </li></ul></ul>