In 2011 the Localism Act was established. It devolved a number of decision making powers to Local Authorities and Communities, as described in the “Plain English guide to the Localism Act”. It included some planning reforms allowing local communities to have a greater say in how their area developed by following a Neighbourhood Planning process, as detailed by National Planning Guidance.
The Neighbourhood planning process allows local residents and businesses to have their own planning policies in a Neighbourhood Plan that reflect their priorities, deliver tangible local benefits and have real weight in planning decisions. Local people can also grant permission for development through ‘neighbourhood development orders’ and ‘community right to build orders’. More information can be found on My Community website.
In 2014 a number of residents raised the desire to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for the Crofton Park Ward area at one of the Crofton Park Ward Assembly meetings. As a result, the Crofton Park & Honor Oak Park Neighbourhood Forum was formed which has set in motion a neighbourhood planning process for the area.
Stages in the Neighbourhood Planning Process
There are 12 key stages involved towards getting a plan adopted by Lewisham Council, which are nicely summarised by the Locality Roadmap Guide below:
- Oct 16 – Jan 17: Consultation on the draft
- Feb 17 – Mar 17: Finalisation of full pre-submission version
- Apr 17 – May 17: Statutory consultation
- Late Summer 17: Referendum for your vote to pass it as local policy