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From Parish to Neighbourhood Planning in England

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Planning at a neighbourhood level is not new. Rather, there has been a great deal of interest and activity in community-based planning in England for several decades, which has recently been manifest in the production of parish plans in rural areas and in attempts to connect these to the official strategies of local government. Making the connection between parish and local plans has not been easy, and nor has it been easy to develop the critical relationships – lay and professional – needed to ensure that parish and local plans express any level of agreement around land use decisions. Parish plans have often been used as lobbying tools, or as expressions of opposition to official policy outcomes. But under the new planning regime, ‘neighbourhood plans’ are to become an important building block of land use planning. Whether they can align, in any way, with local plans will depend on how much time and effort is expended on bringing together the ‘part time planners’ of village England with local government officials, with the aim of establishing a new level of engagement and trust in the planning system. In this seminar, I will outline some of the results of a research project that looked at parish planning and lessons for the new neighbourhood planning process.

This talk is part of the Martin Centre Research Seminar Series series.

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