Communities across England are set to benefit from a package of support worth a total of £22.8m to help them develop plans to give them a real say in the development of their area.
The funding, which will be around £5.5m per year from 2018 until 2022, will provide communities with specialist support to help develop a Neighbourhood Plan.
The announcement comes as more than 400 successful neighbourhood planning referendums have now taken place across England, driving local growth from Cornwall to Northumberland.
Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma said:
“Neighbourhood planning gives communities a powerful set of tools to shape their area and drive local growth.
“The government is committed to giving communities even more of a say in the development of their area, and that’s why we’re dedicating around £23 million between 2018 and 2022 to help groups create Neighbourhood Plans.”
“With over 400 now in place more people than ever are having their say on the location and design of new homes, shops and offices in their community. I congratulate the many thousands of community minded people across England carrying out this valuable work.”
Trudi Elliott, Royal Town Planning Institute Chief Executive, said:
“Having worked directly with over 274 groups to help them develop neighbourhood plans since their inception, the RTPI knows how much people care about these plans and how important they are in shaping places and building public trust in the planning system.
“It’s also clear from our experience that people need support to make the plan-making experience easier and worthwhile, so this latest funding is very welcome.”
The £22.5m funding announcement is connected to the Government’s pledge to give local people more power over the development in their area, as announced in the Housing White Paper.
The Government is launching a further raft of measures to improve neighbourhood planning later this year, as the Neighbourhood Planning Act comes into effect. This includes new rules to speed up and strengthen the popular neighbourhood planning process by simplifying how plans can be revised as local circumstances change.