Neighbourhood Planning in Practice

A new book on Neighbourhood Planning has been published. Professor Gavin Parker and colleagues at the University of Reading have produced a book for practitioners. It addresses experiences to date and identifies key lessons for those starting, or contemplating starting, the Neighbourhood Planning process.

This flier provides further details including how to get a 25% discount on the book (offer valid until 31 December 2019)

Website updated

We’ve given our website a quick healthcheck . We’ve updated some of the broken links and added some new resources. Keep popping back for new additions and let us know if you spot anything else that needs updating.


Implications of the revised NPPF

The revised National Planning Policy Framework was published in July 2018. It has important implications for neighbourhood planning. One positive aspect is the duty on local planning authorities (LPA) to provide a housing requirement figure for Neighbourhood Plan areas. This should make it easier for local groups to plan without recourse to complex housing studies.

However, Neighbourhood Plans continue to be undermined by the risk of their over-arching local plan being deemed out of date by virtue of the  LPA being unable to demonstrate a five year housing land supply or meet the newly introduced Housing Delivery Test.

Where the Local Plan is deemed to be out of date the Neighbourhood Plan will carry limited weight unless it can meet all four of the following criteria:

  • the Neighbourhood Plan has been part of the development plan for two years or less before the date on which the decision is taken;
  • the Neighbourhood Plan contains policies and allocations to meet its identified need;
  • the LPA has a three year supply of deliverable sites against its total housing requirement; and
  • it delivered 45% of this over the previous three years


Service leaflet updated

We have recently updated our Service Leaflet explaining how we can support local communities to develop their Neighbourhood Plan. We are currently providing support to a dozen Neighbourhood Planning groups in Cambridgeshire (and surrounding counties) and are in discussions with several more. Our leaflet is a good starting point for understanding how we can help you. However, if you want to discuss matters further please get in touch.

Peer Learning event great success

Cambridgeshire ACRE held its first Neighbourhood Planning Peer Learning Event on Thursday 14 June 2018. The event was designed to enable Neighbourhood Planning practitioners come together to share their experiences and hear from experts in specific fields. About 50 delegates attended.

The first event had a focus on design issues with excellent presentations from Lucy Batchelor-Wylam, a freelance chartered Landscape Architect and Nick Green, an architect with Saunders Boston. These were followed by the practitioner experiences of Sarah Wilson from Godmanchester Town Council and Bernie Talbot from Great Abington Parish Council. Clare Bond, Huntingdonshire District Council, explained the support that was available from local authorities.

Feedback has been excellent and discussions are already underway about a follow up event. If you have views on topics or speakers you would like to see covered please get in touch. Even better, if you would like to share your own experiences let us have your contact details!

All the presentations and post event evaluation can be downloaded from this page.

Increasing community spirit through Neighbourhood Planning

We’ve previously shared with you some ‘Guidelines for community engagement in Neighbourhood Planning’ from our friends at Keystone Marketing Limited. We’re now pleased to provide a link to their latest blog ‘Increasing community spirit through Neighbourhood Planning’ –

This blog is based on their experience of working with Huntingdon Town Council on its Neighbourhood Plan and highlights an ‘added benefit’ of the neighbourhood planning process.

Successful first year for Cambridgeshire ACRE’s Neighbourhood Planning service

Cambridgeshire ACRE’s Neighbourhood Planning service enjoyed a busy and successful first year in 2016/17. We held project inception meetings with Doddington, Witchford, Waterbeach, Great Abington, Bury and West Wickham neighbourhood plan steering groups. We helped four of these groups – Doddington, Waterbeach, Great Abington and Bury – to secure Locality managed grant support and delivered additional support through this funding.

We hope to be working with the remaining two to progress their Plan in 2017/18. And we’ve already held a project inception meeting with Stapleford & Great Shelford together with exploratory discussions with several other groups this year.

We are building our capacity to match increased demands. We are already working closely with Rachel Hogger from Modicum Planning, one of the leading Neighbourhood Planning specialists. We also have agreements in place with Rachel Leggett Associates and Natalie Blaken from Nupremis.

We believe we have a great offer combining local knowledge, technical expertise and experience of working with local communities. And we can even help you to source the funds to pay for this service! If you would like to discuss how Cambridgeshire ACRE could support your aspirations please contact us.