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Neighbourhood Plans will shape the future


Using neighbourhood plans gives local people the power to create a locally distinctive vision for their community and is the future of planning, according to a new book jointly written by a senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University.

Quintin Bradley

‘Localism and Neighbourhood Planning: Power to the People?’, written by Dr Quintin Bradley from Leeds Beckett and Dr Sue Brownill from Oxford Brookes, will be launched later this month. It argues that neighbourhood planning has the potential to change the way that planning is done and that it will give people real influence over their local area. It also provides the first overview of this popular initiative, identifying the challenges and making clear what local people can achieve.

The book has come about from a series of workshops which were held last year with Leeds neighbourhood plans.

Dr Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Planning and Housing, said: “This is the first book to engage with the growing popular revolution of people power in planning. It shows how local people respond to issues of new housing and development when they are given a real say over what happens in their backyards. It also shows that planning still has a key social purpose. When local people get together to make democratic planning decisions, they can make big improvements in the environment and in their quality of life.”

The first of Leeds’s neighbourhood plans will be put into action today for the village of Clifford. Their vision is to ‘ensure that Clifford parish continues to be a ‘living’ community firmly founded upon our heritage and values’. Leeds Beckett planning lecturers and researchers have been providing expert support to these neighbourhood plans.

‘Localism and Neighbourhood Planning: Power to the People?’ will be launched on Friday 12 May at a conference for neighbourhood planning groups. The conference will feature presentations from the Clifford neighbourhood plan, and many of the other groups who are planning their community’s future. Planning experts from Leeds Beckett University will give advice and support to neighbourhood groups and there will be opportunities to share experience and work together with planners on their ideas.

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