Being part of your local Neighbourhood Planning Forum (NPF) gives you the chance to get involved in a process that will help to shape your neighbourhood.
Why form a Neighbourhood Planning Forum
The Localism Act 2011 introduced new powers for communities to work together, to further the social, economic and environmental well-being of everybody in the area. A Neighbourhood Forum with 21 community representatives can develop a Neighbourhood Plan which influences the way things are done in the area. It has statutory status and must be taken into account by the Council.
Who, why and what’s involved
A broad cross-section of people should get involved, both to represent the diversity of our neighbourhood and to amass a wide range of skills and experience.
You don’t need experience in planning. You could have expertise in working with people from different age groups and backgrounds; be active in improving the local environment, reducing crime or organising social groups; be a small business owner, local artist, retired or unemployed; have a skill, such as accounting; or have experience of chairing meetings, community organising, or funding applications.
To join the Forum you must live or work in the boundaries of the Forum or represent the area, as a Councillor for example. At this point, we envisage you need to commit a couple of hours a month of your time.
The process offers a number of additional advantages. It will enable you to:
- work alongside a diverse group of local people to influence local plans
- learn about new planning processes and policy that could affect you
- get the chance to provide a voice for groups or organisations you may represent, and
- get to know people in your area
What happens next?
Over the coming months, the group will recruit more members; establish a constitution; agree the Forum’s physical boundaries; and start work on a Neighbourhood Plan.
If you’d like to consider being on the Forum or know someone suitable – get in touch with the interim steering group. We’ll get back to you to answer any questions.
Background and more information
An interim steering group drawn from a number of residents’ associations has met with Tower Hamlets planning officers to introduce ourselves and to seek the Council’s support. The Forum – both its membership and boundary – has to be approved by the Council. Once the plan has been drafted and consulted on, it has to be agreed in a public vote of all residents living in the Forum area.
The Department of Communities and Local Government has further information:
And a useful fact sheet can be downloaded from: