Examination of Witnesses

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 23rd June 2022.

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Tony Burton:

We would like to see a Bill that gives more incentives to produce neighbourhood plans and ensures that neighbourhood forums have access to and can make decisions on the spending of the community infrastructure levy. We would like to see a Bill that removes some of the obstacles to neighbourhood plans coming forward where there are obstructive local planning authorities—principal authorities—by strengthening the legal duty on them to support neighbourhood planning and by putting more time limits and appeal mechanisms in place to navigate the process accordingly.

We would like to see the neighbourhood priorities statements being given more weight where they are to be taken forwards, so they cannot just be ignored, and to see them piloted. We would like to see the Bill come forward with a package of support that would scale up what has been learned from the experiences of the last 10 years, and a programme of support, with an emphasis on more funding but also better use of the existing funding, that was designed to enable those communities to come together to produce plans and tap into the expertise that they need at certain key stages. Above all, the support should enable them to learn from each other and build the neighbourhood planning movement, so that that becomes the norm across the country.