Vale communities to try out new planning powers

By Gary Smee 08/03 Updated: 12/03 10:20

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Buy photos » Communities are set to have more say on where new homes can be built in their towns and villages.

NEW PLANNING powers which give communities more say on where houses should be built are set to be trialled in the Vale.

Parish councils in Honeybourne, Cleeve Prior and Pebworth have all been chosen to try out the new powers introduced in the Localism Act.

Under the new plans communities can help decide where development should go and can also choose the type and design of development that can be granted automatic planning permission.

The Vale councils were three of more than 100 announced by communities minister Bob Neill on Monday (March 5) to test out the principles of neighbourhood planning before the system starts formally later this year.

Another 125 communities have already been working up plans meaning a total of 233 communities will be trialling the new scheme.

Mr Neill said neighbourhood planning would ensure people could have a major say in shaping development in their area for the first time.

"There has been enormous interest in neighbourhood planning and the large number of communities jumping at the chance to trial these new powers demonstrates the enthusiasm people have for this local approach to planning.

“For the first time communities will be in the driving seat and allowed to shape the way they want their area to develop instead of having a vision imposed upon them from above.

"Neighbourhood planning encourages people to plan positively for their future and is a real opportunity to deliver the homes and jobs communities need to thrive."

All councils have been given £20,000 to support their work.

Gill Collin, head of housing and planning services at Wychavon District Council, said the neighbourhood plans would have to fit in to its own South Worcestershire Development Plan.

"We've worked with all of the five parishes who applied for the latest round of front runner funding for their Neighbourhood Plans and we're very pleased to see they were successful," she said.

"The plans will have to fit in with our own South Worcestershire Development Plan, but will allow the communities to influence growth in their areas and to have a greater say over where development will take place."

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