Rural communities are being encouraged to apply for funds to masterplan their growth in a sustainable way.
The new £1m competition is being run by Communities and Local Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The rural masterplanning fund is a competition aimed at assisting local planning authorities to prepare sustainable masterplans for community extensions to rural market towns and villages.
It was announced by government as a response to the Taylor Review on rural communities in 2008, which recommended new policies for market towns at risk from unsympathetic development and homogenous housing estates. It recommended mixed use neighbourhood extensions including shops and community facilities, workplaces and open spaces.
Successful councils will receive advice from CABE and the Homes and Communities Agency to help their communities develop in an intelligent way, supporting a sustainable economy and transport system that enables more people to work locally and use local services.
Local planning authorities can bid for a range of support including project management, procurement and training on design and masterplanning. The fund will also help identify best practice that will provide a model for rural authorities across the country and inform national policy.
Find out more about the application process – the closing date for bids is 15 January 2010.