Appendix ‘C’ Regeneration and Community Safety Scrutiny Board, 5/1/06 Neighbourhood Planning - Lessons Learnt 1. Purpose of Report To outline the lessons learnt from the preparation of neighbourhood plans for Craig Croft and North Arran Way and to make a number of recommendations about the future preparation of neighbourhood plans in the light of the lessons learnt. 2. Preparing the Neighbourhood Plan This section considers the processes for preparing and consulting on neighbourhood plans and makes a number of recommendations about how this can be improved in the light of lesson learnt to date. Preparing the plan - what's worked so far… High quality work undertaken by EDAW (Masterplanners) and others Good relationships built with planners Partnership working between partnership consultation team and Solihull Community Housing. What needs improving…. The Neighbourhood Plan process needs be to clear including approval processes, responsibility for different tasks etc Need for a constraints plan for the next neighbourhood to be consulted on e.g. detailing ownership and known constraints in terms of services etc (linked to this is the need for more involvement at an early stage of planners, transport etc). Clarity about the Strategic Framework principles and business plan considerations that need to be factored into the preparation of the plan. Stakeholder involvement can be hit and miss. The Neighbourhood Plan process needed to be designed to ensure that there is involvement from all the relevant stakeholders at appropriate points in the process (e.g. SCH, RSLs, property owners but also service providers, pathfinder etc). Recommendations…. Ensure that the Neighbourhood planning process is clearly mapped and that plan preparation follows the process. This will include arrangements for briefing EDAW, signing off the plan at various stages and for stakeholder involvement. Commission the production of a constraints plan prior to beginning preparation of the plan. Continue to build the role and effectiveness of the Neighbourhood Plan Development Team (key SMBC stakeholders that input into plan preparation at key stages. A Neighbourhood Planning Process Map has been prepared by the Regeneration Team and will be of great assistance in ensuring the Neighbourhood Planning process dovetails with, and recognises statutory requirements, Council protocols and procedures and is consistent with emerging District wide policies and programmes this will be of particular relevance also to other significant stakeholder capital and Revenue Activity. See Appendix 1 for details. Consulting on the Neighbourhood Plan What's worked so far… Open, transparent process. Can demonstrate that people have been genuinely listened to. Elected members have been well engaged with, and supportive of, the process. There is a good range of mechanisms for people to feed back their views. In particular, a drop-in facility on the patch works very well (e.g. Regen. Point in North Arran Way). Working with small groups of people to address their concerns. What needs to be improved… Consultation process needs to be clearly mapped so that it is clear what we need to do at each stage and we ensure that all bases are covered. Need to be very clear at every stage of consultation about any givens / non-negotiables e.g. key aspects of Strategic Framework. Need to ensure that we are engaging people effectively and reducing opportunities for those with loud voices to impose their views on others. Some aspects of current consultation process e.g. 4 week exhibition of provisional plan do not appear to very effective and are resource intensive. Need to start to engage before plan preparation formally commences. More opportunities for people to engage outside office hours are needed. A more co-ordinated approach to responding to interest / pressure groups is needed. Resourcing will also be needed for scheme specific consultation and continued general support to the community once plans are approved. Logistics around producing information and assembling packs. Recommendations…. Include non- negotiables and the reasons for them in consultation material. Consider replacing formal presentations of the neighbourhood plan with a market place type event, which would provide less opportunity for use of disruptive tactics or look at a combination of presentation and ‘market place’ events Consider whether working with smaller groups from Stage 2 (presentation of initial design ideas) is more effective than a broad brush approach: for example, invite residents to specific sessions to discuss the ideas/proposals for their immediate neighbourhood Replace 4 week exhibition of neighbourhood plan with a more interactive and resource effective method. A discussion needs to be had with Planning to ensure that whatever process is put into place will stand up to ‘interrogation’- this could include an exhibition that is manned at certain times of the day with more resource focused on working with groups of residents or individual door knocking. Find more effective ways of engaging with young people. Resource community capacity building work (in whatever form) so that we can engage with residents and with local workers more before plan preparation commences. Resourcing to work with residents more intensively during the process also required e.g. establishing neighbourhood panels, street reps. Find ways of using local people more effectively to champion the process. Materials / examples needed to support consultation: Good quality pictures of the type and quality of housing that might be provided and of the sorts of layouts that we are looking to provide. Good quality pictures of home zone type treatments. Computer images or models to show what things might look like. Policies needed before further Neighbourhood Plans are prepared: Packages available to those who need to relocate. Detail and examples needed, and professional financial advice provided. Rehousing policies tailored to the regeneration programme. Blight (dealing with those experiencing difficulties selling their properties / assistance available and criteria for accessing these. Dealing with vulnerable people e.g. the elderly, disabled, those with mental health problems or basic skills needs. Residents Groups e.g. policy on engagement with self selected groups.