Planning Minister Greg Clark has revealed that £1 million will be made available to support the creation of high street neighbourhood plans that will help revitalise this crucial part of the local economy.
The announcement is part of the Government’s ‘Portas-plus’ response to the Mary Portas’ High Street Review, which goes above and beyond her recommendations and includes a raft of new incentives, funding schemes and bureaucracy-busting measures, all in a bid to rejuvenate the country’s rundown high streets.
This financial support for neighbourhood planning will help local people, businesses and councils come together to develop and agree a neighbourhood high street plan that makes sure locally led sustainable development puts the town centre first with plans for the vitalising and growing their high street economy.
Planning Minister Greg Clark said: ‘For too long local people have been shut out of the planning process with no real voice to affect decisions about the places where they live. High streets are at the heart of their communities and new neighbourhood plans hand power back to communities so they can help shape the future development of this crucial part of their local economy. This £1 million fund will support local people, businesses and councils coming together to provide a really positive contribution to the future vitality and viability of our high streets.’
Neighbourhood planning is part of a series of measures announced in the Localism Act, shifting power away form Whitehall into the hands of local people. Over 200 neighbourhood planning front-runner projects are already trialling the new powers before they are fully rolled out next week. Several of these areas are developing plans to reinvigorate their high streets including Wolverton in Milton Keynes, Sudbury Town, Thame in South Oxfordshire, and Leytonstone.
Further information on how communities and local authorities developing high street neighbourhood plans under the Localism Act can access the £1milllion will be published shortly.
The new National Planning Policy Framework also responds to the Portas recommendation by underlining the importance of town centres and allowing councils to provide the parking facilities in town centres that will help them compete with out-of-town shopping centres and supermarkets.
Further information on neighbourhood planning can be found at: LINK
More information on the Government Reponses to the Mary Portas Review can be found at: LINK
Dept of Communities News: LINK