Angus Walker, partner and planning lawyer at Bircham Dyson Bell
LLP believes that the Government may have over estimated the number
and impact of neighbourhood plans, further to the latest part of
the Localism Act coming into force last week, giving local
communities planning powers.
"The Government has estimated that around 380 plans per
annum will be put forward, but with the cost of each plan being
anything between £20,000 and £86,000, although some
have received funding, I don't believe there will be that many
in practice," explains Angus Walker.
The plans will give local people the right to decide what
types of developments can take place in their areas through
formally agreed planning policies backed with the community right
to build allowing development to take place. But the plans must not
conflict with the strategic parts of the council's overall plan
for the area.
"Although the Government has introduced neighbourhood
plans to encourage development in local areas, it will be
interesting to see if the same plans are used to stop undesired
development such as controversial wind farms or larger housing
developments," explains Angus Walker.
"People always find a way to get around the system and
use it to their benefit if they so desire. We may find that the
plans stop as many developments as they pass. Time will
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