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Jeff Bishop. LOCALISM IN PROTECTED AREAS: SNAKES OR LADDERS?. So who am I? My secretary googled my name and…. Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?. Why am I up here?. Invented Village Design Statements – helped lots Helped develop Parish Plans – helped lots

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LOCALISM IN PROTECTED AREAS: SNAKES OR LADDERS?

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Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Jeff Bishop

LOCALISM IN PROTECTED AREAS: SNAKES OR LADDERS?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

So who am I? My secretary googled my name and…

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Why am I up here?

Invented Village Design Statements – helped lots

Helped develop Parish Plans – helped lots

Lots of practical projects, including for the AONB

Shaping the ‘involvement’ requirements in the 2004 Planning Act

Lots of training, practical research and development work

Mostly in UK, some overseas (VDS Ireland)

Now Localism ….Localism ….Localism!

And just formed, with others, ‘The Localism Network’

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

I am going to:

Skip through the key ‘ingredients’ of the Localism ‘recipe’

But focus heavily on Neighbourhood Plans

Elaborate what is specifically relevant to protected areas

Offer my own ‘menu’ for Localism in the Cotswolds AONB

Seek your views on some ‘tasters’ for you and others

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

The General Context

Not just the Localism Bill, also Local Growth etc.

Lots in there, some not relevant for today

Some key things not mentioned so they stay the same?

- Local Development Frameworks (now Local Plans)

- Statements of Community Involvement (but ….)

- Village Design Statements

- Protected Areas (at least in principle)

- Conservation Areas

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

The key ingredients for you are:

Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Development Orders

Community Right to Build

New Homes Bonus/Community Infrastructure Levy

(Pre-application engagement)

Councillors and ‘predetermination’

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

National Planning Framework

Plan-making

(Regional Policy)

Local Plan

Neighbourhood Plan

New Homes Bonus

Community Infr. Levy

Development Management

Neighbourhood Development Order

Community Right to Build


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

National Planning Framework

Plan-making

(Regional Policy)

AONB PLAN!

Local Plan

Neighbourhood Plan

New Homes Bonus

Community Infr. Levy

Development Management

Neighbourhood Development Order

Community Right to Build


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Neighbourhood Plans 1

Remember:

Developed from Parish Plans and Village Design Statements

Frankly, this is all uncertain and ambiguous

We were told that “Local people …will be able to specify what kind of development and use of land they want to see in their area”

Not true!

A Neighbourhood Plan must be “in conformity with” any local plan

Anything remotely strategic will not be for Neighbourhood Plans to address

Expectations now dashed – I constantly hear things like “we’ve been betrayed”

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Neighbourhood Plans 2

They will be full, formal additions to the hierarchy of plans

And that brings some serious implications with it

Standard of research, evidence and argument will be a quantum leap up from Parish Plans

A serious challenge to the skills and voluntary time from communities

Example a few years ago of a quantum leap in demands on communities that almost stopped VDS work dead

Examination: light touch, not a civil servant… so are they real plans?

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

But Who, How Many, What If Not?

LOCAL PLAN

?

?

?

NP

?

?

?

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Neighbourhood Plan Content

PARISH PLAN

Education

Housing

(Land Use)

Community

Open Space

Statutory Land Use

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Democracy and Engagement On Neighbourhood Plans

A Parish or Town – ie. The Council – the basic building block

Can take parts or combine areas

Must be agreed with the planning authority

But what of those left out? Is that good enough? What if others object?

How about requiring a ‘Quality Council’ before starting a Plan?

Requirements and standards for engagement?

Then the referendum …

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Referendum Area for Neighbourhood Plans

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Resources for Neighbourhood Plans

There are 282 parish/town councils in the AONB

Government estimates costs to produce Plans as between £17,000 and £250,000

Averaging out at £40,000 that could be £11m if all do plans

But government expects perhaps 15 per year for your area – still £600kpa

The contribution of voluntary time to Parish Plans and VDSs has always been considerable, and might continue, but help is needed because…

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Skills for Neighbourhood Plans

... the demands of statutory plans require specialist skills

... the sheer load is enormously more than was the case for Parish Plans

Planners aren’t trained with the community engagement skills – no fault of theirs

Community support bodies are great at engagement, but don’t have planning skills – again no fault of theirs

(But help is at hand...!)

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Localism and Your AONB - Now

You have the Board in place (not all AONBs do)

That gives you clout, especially on planning issues

Good Management Plan in place

Based on long, thorough engagement

Covers all issues, not just planning protection

Perhaps 20 Parish/Town Plans done, lots more on their way

Around 24 VDSs done, most ‘adopted’, more on their way

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Localism and Your AONB - Future

Could produce its own full, formal, Plan

This would enable you to influence all issues

Engagement to date could be built on

This would make it a genuinely collaborative approach

Parish Plans and VDSs could still link in (bit of a tweak needed)

New Parish and Town level action could be a genuine component

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Localism and Your AONB - Future

AONB Plan

OVERALL: SUSTAINABILITY

LAND USE

OVERALL: SUSTAINABILITY

LAND USE

Parish / Town ‘Plan’

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Your Waiter Recommends This Menu…

Don’t stop Parish Plan/VDS work – but slight shifts needed

If a compelling reason to do NP, NDO, CRB project ... tread carefully

Otherwise, DON’T START ON A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN YET!

Continue to lobby, harder than before, for engagement in Core Strategies etc.

Continue to lobby for better pre-application engagement

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

In the Meantime Place Your Efforts Into:

‘Character and Design Statements’

Two key reasons:

Gets more people engaged and organised

Results will have clout even if NPs delayed

And this is a nationally exciting model because it can combine:Village Design Statement (built environment) approaches

Landscape character assessment – enriching the AONB’s guidelines

Conservation Area Character Assessment

And move into site selection and project briefs if you need to

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

What Do You Think Of It So Far?

I said I’d be seeking your views so...

Half day Briefings (for all and sundry) on Localism in the AONB?

Training sessions on (eg.) Character and Design Statements

Possible support on NPs, NDOs etc.

Possible support on finishing current Parish Plans / VDSs

PS. Maybe more for others (Localism Network?) than AONB

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


Localism in protected areas snakes or ladders

Thanks for your time

(The Localism Network flyer is in your packs)

Localism in Protected Areas: Snakes or Ladders?


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