Locality will be extending its support for local groups to develop neighbourhood plans for another four years following the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s announcement of a new £23m programme today.

Neighbourhood plans give real power to local people to shape and design their area. The new programme will ensure that communities who want to have a say in future developments have support to get plans in place and keep them up-to-date.

Locality will provide a new online portal (neighbourhoodplanning.org) with tools and resources and continue to build a network of neighbourhood planners across the country to share learning and best practice. We welcome group’s views on how best to do this.

Under the new programme, groups working on a neighbourhood plan can apply for grants of up to £17,000. Professional planning support from the Locality team and partners AECOM will be available for to support communities in unparished areas.

Over the last four years Locality has supported 2,360 local groups to develop a neighbourhood plan, working directly with over 500 neighbourhoods.

Tony Armstrong, CEO of Locality, said: “We believe that local communities are powerful and are the key to building a fairer society. The new neighbourhood planning programme will help thousands of local groups to create a neighbourhood plan, giving local people a direct say in what happens in their local area and helping every community to thrive.”

Stuart Woodin, the lead Technical Director at AECOM said: “Our support provides vital evidence to a whole new generation of ‘lay planners’ from all walks of life who are grappling with the opportunities as well as the challenges presented by planning their places. We are thrilled to be involved for another four years with Locality in this unique Private-Voluntary Sector Partnership.”

The new programme will open to customers on 3 April 2018.

Visit neighbourhoodplanning.org, which launched today, to get more information and guidance on the new programme ahead of its launch. You can also find links to sign-up to the new Neighbourhood Planning Newsletter, Neighbourhood Planning Twitter account and access recently updated resources and guides.