Neighbourhood planning guide

3rd edition of our popular handbook now out ...

10 February 2020

As the issue of climate change continues to dominate our headlines, we're pleased to be publishing the 3rd edition of our guidebook for people wishing to shape their locality and make a positive contribution to cutting carbon through a neighbourhood plan.

Click here to download Neighbourhood Planning in a Climate Emergency.

This is the 3rd edition of the popular guidebook which was previously called Lowcarbon Neighbourhood Planning. And we say "popular" because we get lots of very positive feedback and it gets hundreds of downloads a month.

Neighbourhood plans provide communities with direct planning powers to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood, and they are recognised by Parliament under the Localism Act 2011. This includes the ability to safeguard biodiversity and develop positive and ambitious sustainable development strategies.

Over 1,900 pioneering towns and villages have already been designated as neighbourhood plan areas with input from the whole community. Many others are in the process of doing so. Some plans - but by no means all - are quite explicitly aimed at making the transition to a low carbon infrastructure, energy and transport system.

But drawing up a neighbourhood plan is no easy matter. They require a considerable amount of time and effort and an engagement with the local planning system that can be at times quite a challenge.

CSE has received funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation for a three-year support programme that will encourage more neighbourhood planning groups to make sure their area contributes to a sustainable future. You can read more about this work here.

Dan Stone is the chief author of Neighbourhood Planning in a Climate Emergency. "A good neighbourhood plan can achieve multiple goals: a greener and more pleasant living environment, a stronger community and reductions in our carbon emissions. We hope that this guidebook will inspire and encourage more groups to explore how engaging with their local planning department can help transform their neighbourhoods for the better."

As before, the guide has a foreword from Hugh Ellis, Director of Policy at the Town and Country Planning Association, who writes "This publication explores the huge potential of neighbourhood plans to plan for and build a positive future for local communities, through addressing and responding to [climate change], the most challenging issue of our times. ... The Town & Country Planning Association welcomes this guidebook."

You can read more about our neighbourhood planning work on this page of our local energy site, and the community engagement resources can be found here.

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