National Neighbourhood Planning Champion joins Tetlow King Planning

November 27, 2017 4:29 pm Published by

Tetlow King Planning (TKP) are pleased to announce the appointment of Julie O’Rourke as its in house expert on Neighbourhood Planning. Julie joins from Bath and North East Somerset Council where she was employed as a Planning Officer and afforded the title by DCLG of ‘Neighbourhood Planning Champion’ for her work on promoting Neighbourhood Planning.

Since its inception through the Localism Act 2011 and subsequent Regulations in 2012, the influence and authority of Neighbourhood Planning across the country has greatly increased. Once a Neighbourhood Development Plan has been formally ‘Made’ and adopted, it sits alongside the Council’s main Development Plan Documents, forming a critical part of its Local Plan.

Government legislation and Written Ministerial Statements (WMSs) have enhanced the status of formally ‘Made’ Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDPs). Notably, the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 introduced measures to streamline the process of designating NDP Areas and bring forward the point at which such Plans can be Made, which now follows a public referendum.

In addition, the December 2016 WMS into Neighbourhood Planning ensured that the relevant policies towards the supply of housing should be considered “up-to-date” where the Plan is less than two years old; the NDP allocates sites for housing; and – critically – if the Council can demonstrate a three year supply of deliverable housing sites. This essentially does away with the five year housing land supply requirement in those areas with a formally adopted NDP.  Whilst this WMS is subject to judicial review its influence at Section 78 appeals has been noticeable.

Furthermore, in the national public consultation ‘Planning for the right homes in the right places’ (September 2017) the Government announced further measures proposing to clarify the appropriate starting point for Town and Parish Councils in establishing housing need for designated Neighbourhood Plan Areas through the Local Plan preparation process and via a new “formula-based approach” to apportion this housing need.

In September 2017, Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma announced that some £22.8 million of Government funding will be available to communities to help them deliver Neighbourhood Plans. The allocation is to be available to 2022, and is intended to provide communities with funding for specialist support to help their delivery. As a result we are likely to see a further increase in the number of formally made Neighbourhood Plans across England.

TKP Director, James Stacey said:

“Never before has Neighbourhood Planning had such influence within the planning system. All stakeholders within the development industry, including private developers, house builders, local planning authorities, land owners, and local communities should be made aware of the growing opportunities as well as common pitfalls that exist within Neighbourhood Planning.

The appointment of Julie will enable Tetlow King Planning to expand upon the advice we offer to Local authorities, Parish Councils and developers. Whether you are in favour or against development within an emerging Neighbourhood Plan, Tetlow King Planning are able to help”.

Julie O’Rourke commented that:

“I am extremely excited to join Tetlow King Planning at a time where Neighbourhood Planning is at the forefront of the development industries mind. Changes at a national level can have a great impact on the success or failure of a neighbourhood. Understanding and influencing the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan is crucial to its success in delivering its aims, whether that’s delivering more houses, protecting an area of open space or providing a local infrastructure requirement. I look forward to continuing my work with many local authorities, Parish Council’s and developers”.

TKP’s Scope of Services sets out how we can assist you with any Neighbourhood Planning matters.

For more information please get in touch with our Neighbourhood Planning specialist Julie O’Rourke on 0117 9561916 or julie.orourke@tetlow-king.co.uk.