Report calls for community ‘empowerment’ in decision-making
Residents should be able to negotiate the terms of local developments through Neighbourhood Forums, a new publication has announced.
The Re-thinking Neighbourhood Planning: From consultation to collaboration report from ResPublica and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), has called for greater formal recognition of community priorities during the planning process.
Describing previous neighbourhood consultations as ‘tokenistic’, the publication suggested that the incorporation of impartial experts and town halls into the collaboration process would provide greater support at a local level.
Launched today by the minister for local Government, Greg Clark, the report has urged the Government to consider a ‘community right to invest in real estate’ and recommends that a consultation be undertaken into how communities can capitalise on future gains in the property development sector.
The publication has also suggested that the Government should use information from local authorities to extend the community budgets programme.
Requests were also made for Neighbourhood Partnership Agreements, between residents, businesses, developers, design professionals and authorities, to become a statutory requirement of each Neighbourhood Plan.
Phillip Blond, director of ResPublica, said that while the localism act had provided communities with an ‘unprecedented’ opportunity to engage with the decision making process, only meaningful collaboration would fulfil the potential posed by neighbourhood collaboration.
‘Through a meaningful partnership, we can push forward a more radical localism, with a sense of empowerment really felt across communities,’ Blond emphasised. ‘This community empowerment can lead to even more robust forms of local control through extending community ownership and opening up the possibility for communities to invest in real estate.’
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