Guidance and help for community plans

The council supports and encourages all communities to get involved in shaping their local areas, one way this can be done is by developing a community plan.

A community plan sets out how residents, in both rural parishes and in urban areas 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

Reasons to have a community plan

Community plans can influence local councils and service providers and 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 community plans can provide strong evidence of need to support grant applications
  • encourage partnership working by highlighting projects that need help from the community itself or from external agencies

Help available

The Connected Communities Team can help and guide you with developing a community plan.

It is important to use this support so that you can tap into best practice and local experience to produce a robust and credible plan. A community development officer can lead you through the process.

In a parish area the process is usually started by the parish council. In urban areas resident groups can work with their local councillors and the Connected Communities Team to develop a plan.

Contact the Connected Communities Team

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

Other community plans

Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood planning, introduced by the Localism Act 2011, is a 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 on Neighbourhood Plans please visit our Neighbourhood Plans page.

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 on Village Design Statements please visit our Village Design Statements page.

Choosing the right plan 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.

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