Neighbourhood plans are intended to be positively prepared, in order to set out on what basis development will be accepted. Plans offer an opportunity for communities to manage physical change and ensure necessary compensation and mitigation is secured through planning gain. Plans are not however intended to prevent or constrain development.
The government is committed to empowering communities to make decisions about their own future. To this end, there have been several announcements concerning the availability of funding to help in the preparation of neighbourhood plans.
Directions Planning Consultancy supports a number of parish councils and community forums to prepare neighbourhood plans. We understand the process, appreciate the nature of local issues, and have developed best practice.
We believe that consultants should not take over and draft the actual plan. Instead we focus on working with communities by managing the process: providing strategic guidance, delivering training and helping to organise consultation. We can also help to secure funding. Our support ensures the plan is owned by the community, which encourages implementation and effectiveness rather than preparing a plan that ends up on a shelf at the end of the process.
Our planners have now assisted over 40 parish councils in the preparation of neighbourhood plans across North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.