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Neighbourhood Planning in Wolverhampton


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Title: Neighbourhood Planning in Wolverhampton

Neighbourhood Planning in Wolverhampton
The Presentation
  • The Wolverhampton context, and the story so far
  • The Neighbourhood Plans
  • Emerging Issues
  • Governance and Project Management
  • Lessons leaned
  • Next steps
  • Questions

Strategic Planning context
  • Black Country Core Strategy adopted February 2011
    based on reversing population decline, supporting
    economic growth and environmental enhancement.
  • Target of 14,000 new homes, improved employment
    areas and vibrant City Centre by 2026 for
  • Core Strategy identifies a Growth Network of the
    City Centre and Regeneration Corridors where new
    development will be focussed.
  • Area Action Plans being prepared to promote
    development in the Growth Network.
  • Neighbourhood Plans will also support the Core
    Strategy by providing a detailed planning
    framework for some areas outside the Growth

Neighbourhood Planning the story so far
  • Bid for Frontrunner status in March 2011 for
    three Plans.
  • DCLG award of 20,000 to progress each plan
  • Cabinet approval to progress the Heathfield Park
    and Tettenhall Plans secured in June, and Bilston
    in September 2011.
  • Plans largely based on Local Neighbourhood
    Partnership areas
  • Sustainability Appraisals being undertaken on all

Tettenhall Neighbourhood Plan
  • Attractive western suburban fringe location with
    areas of Green Belt, outside the Growth Network
  • Population of 22,000 and high proportion of
    professional households
  • Strong community interest in planning with
    existing LNP Planning and Conservation Group
  • Area sought after by property developers to build
    high quality homes
  • Pressure on back-land development out of
    character with the area

Tettenhall Neighbourhood Plan Progress so far
  • Community initiated - long standing interest in
  • Community Steering Group regularly meet to
    progress NP (set up in July 2011) approx 10
  • Stakeholder Workshop Nov 2011 run by the
    Princes Foundation
  • Community Launch Feb / March 2012 to gain
    consensus on issues.
  • Theme Group workshops and road shows being
  • Household and Business Survey programmed for
    Summer 2012, along with other technical work.

Emerging Issues.
  • Traffic and congestion
  • Providing a better choice and mix of housing, but
    with limited opportunities for new development
  • Protecting environmental assets, local character
    and distinctiveness
  • Better access to employment opportunities
  • Protection of community facilities and better
    local services
  • Reconciling competing priorities
  • There is strong commonality on these issues for
    the Neighbourhood Plans being prepared

Governance arrangements and the role of the
  • Governance arrangements
  • Community directly supported by Local
    Neighbourhood Partnership Officers on a day to
    day basis as well as regular liaison with
    Planning Officer
  • Sign off of work by the Local Neighbourhood
    Partnership Board
  • Approvals currently required from WCC Cabinet at
    key stages
  • Community Resource
  • People committed to the Plan, some with Planning
    skills others dedicating time
  • Monthly Steering Group meetings to progress
    Plans, with additional meetings during busy
  • Steering Group essential, with sub-groups
    where/when needed

Governance arrangements and the role of the
  • Role of the Council
  • Agree the neighbourhood boundary
  • Financial support for evidence, consultation and
    Examination / referendum 50-70K per plan in
    addition to CLG grant.
  • Professional support of 2.5 FTE between Planning
    and LNP Service for the three Plans
  • Procurement of technical evidence
  • Pre-examination check
  • Organise and pay for the examination / referendum
  • Adopt

Adopting a Project management approach
  • Develop a Project Plan
  • Agree terms of reference for the Steering Groups
    and any sub-groups.
  • Confirm role and responsibilities of partners
    Council Officers and Members, Community Group and
  • Agree timetable and stick to it.
  • Identify key risks and actively manage them.

How much evidence and at what cost?
  • Core Strategy evidence provides good starting
    point strategic Employment and Housing Studies,
    Flood Risk, Retail and Centres and
  • What else needs to be done to supplement this
  • Sustainability appraisal - 5k
  • Community questionnaire - 12k
  • Surveys of employment areas and occupiers - 3-5k
  • Environmental Surveys - 5k
  • Characterisation Studies - 10k
  • Masterplan - 10k
  • Consider the need for professional planning
    support for example, to write the final plan
  • Communications and consultation (10K)
  • Referendum / Examination costs (10-20K)
  • Grand total 60-90k

Next steps
  • Neighbourhood Plans, Area Action Plans or
    Community led Development Plans?
  • Evidence gathering and Options development Summer
  • Draft Plans by December 2012
  • Examination / Referendum / Adoption 2013

Lessons learned
  • Its been a positive experience for all parties.
  • Buy-in at all levels and across all organisations
    is critical.
  • Put a lot of effort in early to make sure project
    management arrangements are fit for purpose.
  • There is some flexibility in the way you can
    prepare the Plan
  • Local people know their areas well, but use
    evidence to support the plan.
  • Celebrate short-term wins to make it real.

Lessons learned
  • All areas are different but similar issues and
    themes are emerging.
  • Dont underestimate the level of human and
    financial resource needed.
  • Success should be measured in a number of ways
    appreciate the soft wins and not just the end
  • What are the issues in the Neighbourhood, and
    what sort of Plan if any is needed to respond
    to this?

Different types of Neighbourhood Plans emerging
  • Neighbourhood Development
  • Order (Minor development )
  • Residential minor development
  • (e.g. house extensions, windows)
  • Town centre - change of use /
  • minor changes signage
  • Business park / industrial estate
  • minor development
  • Policy and Allocation
  • Plans
  • Neighbourhood plans covering
  • a narrower range of issues.
  • Often theme specific
  • Allocate development sites
  • for narrow range of uses.
  • Mini Local Plan
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • of policy issues.
  • Allocate development sites
  • for wide range of uses
  • Single Policy Document
  • Neighbourhood Plan covering
  • a single policy issue (e.g.
  • Protection of green space)
  • Neighbourhood Development
  • Order (Site specific)
  • Development of a particular site
  • (e.g. small housing scheme under
  • CRtB)
  • Policy Plans
  • Neighbourhood plans covering
  • a broad range of policy issues.
  • No site allocations.
  • Similar to Parish Plans.
  • Augment Local Plan policy

The alternative Better involvement with the
Council on the Plans being prepared A
collaborative approach where decisions are made
  • Contact details
  • Website links
  • Wolverhampton LDF
  • Tettenhall Neighbourhood Plan -
  • Heathfield Park Neighbourhood Plan -