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Neighbourhood Plan grants still available

February 2, 2021 8:57 PM

Some parishes and towns have been concerned that the Neighbourhood Planning process in Wiltshire had become devalued due to the WC administration's inability to maintain a five-year land supply.

With developers able in some circumstance to over-rule a Neighbourhood Plan if it's more than two years old there is some cause for this concern, but for most communities having a NP is a good idea.

As an added incentive grants are available to cover much of the cost. Here's the detail on that:

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All groups undertaking a neighbourhood plan are eligible to apply for up to £10,000 in grant.

Groups facing more complex issues may be eligible for an additional grant of £8,000. This additional grant is available to groups if any of the following is met:

  • Allocating sites for housing
  • Including design codes in your plan
  • A designated business neighbourhood plan
  • A cluster of three or more parishes writing a single plan
  • A Neighbourhood Area with a population of over 25,000
  • A designated neighbourhood forum
  • A group based in an area which has a high level of deprivation (where 30% or more of the neighbourhood area or population is in the 20% most deprived areas in England according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation)

If the answer is yes to any of the above the Parish/Town council can apply for an additional £8,000 grant.

Parish/Town councils are also able to apply for Technical support provided they meet the technical support eligibility criteria, along with grant funding.

Technical support includes professional support and advice on technical or process issues. It is available for eligible groups facing more complex issues in developing their neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order. Technical support is awarded as a technical work package and is in addition to the grant. It has no relation to how much grant a group can have. It is delivered free of charge to groups who qualify by meeting the eligibility criteria, e.g. allocating sites for housing.

Eligibility for Technical Support

Are the parish/town council at least doing one of the following:

  • Allocating sites for housing
  • Seeking to bring forward affordable housing for sale in your plan
  • Including design codes in your plan
  • Planning to use a neighbourhood development order
  • An undesignated Forum needing help to get designated (this unlocks the 'Setting up a Neighbourhood Planning Group (in unparished areas)' package of support only. To be eligible for the other packages of support your forum will need to be designated)
  • A designated neighbourhood forum
  • A group based in an area which has a high level of deprivation (where 30% or more of the neighbourhood area or population is in the 20% most deprived areas in England according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation)

If the answer is yes to any of the above the parish/town council can apply for technical support.

If the parish/town council are updating a neighbourhood plan that has already been 'made' by the Local Planning Authority, then the parish/town council are eligible to apply for the full grant amount again. Any support grant or technical support received in making the previous plan is not taken into account, with the allowance 'reset'.

Applications presently for grant support for 2020-2021 closed on the 29th January 2021.

Information about applying for the 2021/2022 grant programme will be coming soon. Check Home - Locality Neighbourhood Planning for further updates.

Applications for technical support will be considered on a rolling basis and are not affected by these timeframes.