KOV is seeking to pursue a Neighbourhood Plan for two significant reasons:
1) to encourage appropriate development in the area where the community has a greater say in what is acceptable
2) to enable planning gain which may be received as a result of developments to be prioritised directly back into our area
In order to succeed, the Neighbourhood Plan has to go through a number of tests of which two are critical:
- a) it has to be approved by a Planning Inspector to make sure that the proposals are appropriate and in keeping with Local Plans and central government directives. For instance, a Neighbourhood Plan cannot put a blanket ban on new housing – there are targets for London Boroughs and our area would need to take its share. But a Neighbourhood Plan can say (and this is a very simplistic example) we would prefer three low rise blocks of 10 2-bed flats as opposed to 1 high rise with 60 studio flats.
- b) it has to be approved by a public vote with a majority in support of it. Although there is no minimum turnout, the more people who get involved then the more likely it will be to influence planning decisions in the future.
To this end KOV has secured a Government grant from Locality, has undertaken extensive baseline data research through UCL Bartlett College Planning students, and been designated by Lambeth Council as the body designated to carry out a Neighbourhood Plan for our area in accordance with the Localism Act 2011. We have just run a survey (hand delivered to most doors). We are now analysing the results and have already carried out the prize draws. The survey remains open until the end of February and is available to complete online via this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KOVNPLAN for people who missed the original deadline, but we have no more prizes to give away! We have so far received in excess of 600 responses – we would like to increase that by the end of February.
Neighbourhood Plan and CLIPs explained:
You may have heard of Lambeth Councillors also undertaking a survey and promoting the concept of CLIPs in North Lambeth (Oval and Princes wards). Planning gain money known as CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) is split into two separate pots; 75% goes direct to the Council to spend as it needs Lambeth-wide, 25% is intended to be apportioned for expenditure directly in the area where the impact is greatest and this is the money that CLIPS or the Neighbourhood Plan would draw upon. The money must be spent on infrastructure and mainly capital works rather than ongoing running costs, though there is a wider debate about that. Although the Neighbourhood Plan seeks to apportion and prioritise the same 25% local CIL money as CLIPs, but there are some key differences between the two proposals.
- The Neighbourhood Plan will have material weight in planning decisions – CLIPS has no impact on planning priorities and indeed may encourage more development to secure greater contributions.
- The Neighbourhood Plan has to be approved by a public vote – CLIPS is approved by Councillors and Lambeth officers based on their interpretation of the consultation.
- The KOV Neighbourhood Plan seeks to ensure transparency by the developer when providing their Financial Viability Assessments. CLIPS does not make any alterations to the current arrangement where developers claim commercial confidentiality and residents therefore do not know whether they are getting a reasonable portion of planning gain.
- The Neighbourhood Plan could lead to a Community Development Trust being set up to secure, deliver and monitor local project – which was something the Lambeth Local Plan indicated should be considered. CLIPS projects will be decided and prioritised by Lambeth Council as they do now.
As ever we at KOV are happy to work in partnership with Lambeth Council to make the KOV Neighbourhood Plan work for everybody.
How to get involved in the KOV Neighbourhood Plan:
Hopefully you’ll find our workshop about the outcome of the Neighbourhood Plan survey useful and interesting.
The KOV Neighbourhood Plan offers a unique opportunity to help shape your area and neighbourhood to better suit the needs and aspirations of local people, and this includes a say in how the planning gain to mitigate the impact of the big developments in our area is spent. This goal cannot be achieved unless local people get involved.
If you get involved, it’s not just for your voice to be heard, but to make a real impact in the local planning process.
You’re more than welcome to join the group that has taken the Neighbourhood Plan forward to this point. Although not yet complete, the KOV Neighbourhood Plan is already beginning to have an impact on local planning decisions. If you’re interested, please ask one of us at the workshop, fill in one of our membership forms or contact us directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or via our website http://www.kovforum.org.uk/
The KOV Neighbourhood Plan Team