Planning Officers Society Conference Neighbourhood Planning Workshop • Philip James • Previously: Principal Planner with LB Sutton Project Manager for the Hackbridge sustainable suburb Policy Officer also partnership building exercises around district centres • Now: Planning Aid for London Volunteer/Trustee
Planning Aid for London • Longstanding role in supporting community engagement in planning • Engagement with difficult to reach groups • Increasing role of mediation • Recipients of year funding (until April 2012) as part of RTPI grouping • Maintain “free” service to lower income groups • Specialist advice also “signposting” • Funding to develop community consultancy
London Borough of Sutton • Longstanding commitments to the Environmental Agenda, Regeneration (e.g SRB) Local Area Forums and area management • Demanding housing targets • Sustainable suburbs agenda • Draft SPD /Small but influential group of activists (BedZED residents) • One Planet Living Agenda (Bioregional) • No project plan due to funding uncertainty – developed interactively! Iteratively!! opportunistically!!! • Opportunity sites - Core Strategy - 20% of new housing
Localism Bill • Shift in the relationship between Central Government, Local Authorities and the community • No examples of Neighbourhood Plans under new Bill yet • Several LPAs pausing on current SPDs to consider “rebranding” issues • RTPI point out that many procedural tools already exist • Developing trust and good working practices locally – learning curves and pragmatism
Neighbourhood Planning Workshop • What processes can we build in to achieve community input and ownership? • What sort of approaches raise ‘the heckles’ of community bodies? • What are the barriers to joint working? • What do we need to build in to really develop a partnership approach? • What can community organisations bring to the table? Do they want to? • What techniques are useful? What additional skills do planners supporting the work need? • Lessons learnt – is there always a right and a wrong way? Probably not • How do you decide which approach is right for your project?