The council encourages all local communities to get involved in shaping their local areas and is supporting communities to develop their own community plans.
What is a community plan?
A community plan sets out how local residents would like to see their local area change in the future. It sets out:
- a long term vision for the community, developed by the community - describing the sort of place it would wish to be and look like
- the important issues to tackle, that reflect the needs of that particular community
- short term goals and actions
Why have a community plan?
Community plans play a crucial role in influencing local councils and service providers. They provide evidence of the type of things that people want in their communities and what they see as important.
Community plans can:
- bring the community together and generate community spirit and community actions
- provide clear evidence of community aspirations and priorities
- provide a plan for the future that service providers know is based on wide community involvement and can use to shape their services to meet local need
- help access funding streams for projects - as grants are often only available if there is identified need
- encourage partnership working by highlighting projects that need help from the community itself or from external agencies.
What is involved?
There are several steps to work through to ensure that any plan is based on the needs and views of the future from the whole community. These include:
- setting up a steering group
- consulting with the community to get views from as many people as possible
- identifying priorities
- developing an action plan that involves the local community and service providers.
Advice is available from the Community Development Team - through the Community Planning Officer and the team of community development officers working across the borough. They have good contacts and experience in their local areas and can provide practical support to take groups through the different steps. For further information please contact the Community Planning team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01256 845282.
Some initial information is also available at Guidance and grants.
Other community plans
Neighbourhood planning, introduced by the Localism Act 2011, is a new way for communities to be involved in land-use planning decisions in their area. They enable local communities to have more say in where new houses, businesses, shops and community facilities should go in their local area and will allocate sites for development. They may also include more detailed planning policies for example to define how new development should look.
For more information click on the following link: Neighbourhood Plans
Village Design Statements
A Village or Town Design Statement (VDS) is a practical tool to help influence decisions on design and development. They provide a clear statement of the character of a particular village or town against which planning applications may be assessed.
For more information click on the following link: Village Design Statements
Which type of plan is right for you?
This depends on what the local communities wants to achieve. Community plans have a wider remit and seek to tackle a range of social, economic and environmental issues. Neighbourhood Plans have a more regulated process, focus on planning issues. It may be that a combination of the plans is the best approach, however having a clear vision for the future of the community is a good starting point.
For further information - please contact the Community Planning Officer by email email@example.com or telephone 01256 845282.