POS welcomes the chnages out forward in the government's outcome report from the technical consultation on implementation of neighbourhood planning provisions in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill
It is suggested tthese changes will both speed up the process of making and modifying neighbourhood plans and encourage closer working between LPAs and neighbourhood plan teams. POS believes the necessity for this has long been apparent, with successful qualifying bodies frequently underlining the importance of the support of an LPA that goes beyond the minimum level of support required by regulation.
Stephen Tapper, the Society's Neighbourhood Planng specialist, says "close working is all the more important today as Government guidance and decisions in the courts and on appeal have underscored the importance of preparing neighbourhood plans with the same degree of rigour and detail as applies to a LPA preparing its own plans".
Tapper adds "Lack of relevance to a development plan, lack of evidence, ambiguity or a lack of clarity of purpose in policy writing, and unenforceable policies are reasons why some neighbourhood plans have disappointed. With early warning of the desire of their communities to undertake neighbourhood planning a LPA can and should include close support for the process in its work programmes, ensuring they and the neighbourhood plan team take maximum benefit from the funding available."
POS is in the process of preparing a full response to the government's outcome report.