Community planning: Neighbourhood planning UK
Localism Act
Plans and Policy

A new planning system for England – the Localism Act

The Localism Act (2011):
A plain English guide
A plain English guide to the Localism Act, DCLG, 2011
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A clear 22 page summary of the Act which became law on 15 November 2011.
The Localism Act
The Localism Act 2011, The Stationery Office, 2011
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Full text of the Act

The neighbourhood plan process

The legislation establishes the legal framework for:
Neighbourhood Planning
An Introduction to Neighbourhood Plans, DCLG, 2011
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The official four page introduction to Neighbourhood Plans
Statutory Instruments: 2012, No. 637, Town and Country Planning, England. The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012
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The regulations governing neighbourhood planning.
Funding and implementation

The government is providing funding and other incentives for local communities to engage in neighbourhood planning. These enable communities to shape what actually happens on the ground and include: Pre-application consultation

The new legislation makes it compulsory for developers to consult local communities before applying for planning permission.

Pre-application Consultation
Pre-application consultation with communities: a basic guide – February 2011
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Official note explaining the new requirement for developers to consult with local communities prior to submitting certain planning applications.


This page partly funded by the Department for Communities and
Local Government, 2011.


Nick Wates Associates


Last updated on:12 November 2012
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Community right to build
A Community Right to Build Order can be prepared by any local community organization with 50% members living within the neighbourhood. It is site-specific for small scale developments, with any profits distributed among members. It is a special type of Neighbourhood Development Order which creates opportunities for local people to implement development proposals for new homes, playgrounds, meeting halls, businesses or shops. As long as the proposals meet certain criteria and are approved in referendum, they will not need a traditional planning application to be approved. To download a pdf with further information click on Go to website.

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New Homes Bonus
A Government scheme to encourage local authorities to grant planning permissions for new houses by providing government grant. The bonus matches the council tax for any new home, or any empty property brought back into use, for the first six years. It is intended to counter ‘nimbyism’ by providing communities with an incentive to support development. Councils and communities will work together to decide how to spend this extra funding. The Bonus could be used for council tax discounts for local residents, boosting local services, or providing or retaining local facilities such as swimming pools or leisure centres. To download a pdf with further information click on Go to website.

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Community right to reclaim
A beefed up version of the established, but little used, Public Request to Order Disposal (PROD) process. Registers of publicly owned land are being compiled and published. This will enable community groups to hold to account the owners of sites which are not fully used. Securing a A PROD will normally mean that the land is sold on the open market. Community groups or others may then be able to acquire it and bring it back into a beneficial use.

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Assets of Community Value
This allows a community group or an individual to ‘list’ a site which they argue is of value to the local community. The local authority has to maintain a list of sites. An owner wishing to sell the asset must notify the local authority which then imposes a moratorium on the sale. The moratorium period gives the local community time to develop a proposal for the transfer of the asset to community ownership. These assets might include meeting rooms, swimming pools, village shops, markets or pubs which, if closed or sold into private use, can be a damaging community loss. To download a pdf with further information click on Go to website.

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Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
A charge which local authorities can levy on any new building or extension with a floor area of 100 square metres or more to pay for the local infrastructure needed for new development – schools, community and health facilities, green space, roads. The charge is levied according to a tariff (£x per building) which is set by the local planning authority in consultation with local communities. The Localism Act requires charging authorities to allocate a meaningful proportion of revenues to the neighbourhood where they were raised.

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