Gloucestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Neighbourhood Plans in the spotlight - how effective are they?

Monday, 11 June 2018 14:56

Neighbourhood Plan Workshop Neighbourhood Plan Workshop Richard Lloyd

11 June 2018


The Government sees Neighbourhood Plans as a way forward for rural communities to have a greater influence in securing the right development for their area. Over 500 plans have now been completed in England and passed at a local referendum.  But are they effective in preventing inappropriate development and in encouraging the kind of development sought by rural communities? 

This was the topic of a workshop event on 6thJune jointly hosted by CPRE Gloucestershire, the Gloucestershire Rural Community Council and the Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils.


CPRE is funding a pilot exercise in Gloucestershire and four other counties in South West England to find out just effective the process of plan preparation is proving and whether the end result is worthwhile.  The emerging findings from the study, undertaken by Place Studio, were presented and discussed by 60 people who have been at the sharp end of the process or who are considering producing a Neighbourhood Plan in the future.  

The ensuing discussion was lively and gave a mixed picture with positive comments, but also reports of real difficulties and disappointments in some parishes.  


Delegates then broke into three smaller groups to discuss how to make most use of your Neighbourhood Plan on completion; and for those preparing plans or thinking about doing so, how to address landscape and heritage issues, and defining settlement boundaries and allocating development sites.

This was a most worthwhile day. The feedback will help Place Studio refine their research report and recommendations.  It is hoped the report will lead to a wider survey and also be influential in the development of national policy and practice on Neighbourhood Plans.

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