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Monday, April 16, 2012

Neighbourhood Planning in Somerset

As a member of the Heart of the Levels Wildlife Group of Somerset Wildlife Trust I hope that as many of our local members as possible will join us in helping in this new approach to planning.
Here is a comment from the Somerset Wildlife Trust which is a good starting point in getting to know more about this change.
You can see more of this article by visiting the SWT web site.

Neighbourhood Planning

If you’ve ever been frustrated that the planning system doesn’t do enough to protect nature now is your chance to change things!
The new Localism Act aims gives people a say in planning the future growth of their community. Neighbourhood Planning will allow people via their Parish Council to create a Neighbourhood Plan ­ a set of locally decided objectives and policies to guide development and deliver a shared vision for the place you live. Here at Somerset Wildlife Trust we’re excited about the possibilities for nature that Neighbourhood Planning could bring. As well as making decisions about new built development, communities will also be able to plan for natural developments: from wild play and wild greenspaces to meadows, wetlands and woodlands, people can decide what the nature network, or “green infrastructure” should look like in their patch, and write the policies to make it a reality.
Our Living Landscapes approach to revitalising nature aims to create spaces for wildlife in every corner of the county. If every parish were to plan spaces and corridors for nature, think what Somerset might look like in 10 years time. We hope that as many people as possible will choose to take part in the Neighbourhood Planning initiative, so that more nature-rich areas can be created and connected up across Somerset’s landscape, allowing people and wildlife to thrive.
If this article has aroused your interest and you want more information, a good place to start is Department for Communities and Local Government website.
SWT will be holding a number of informal public open evenings to discuss Neighbourhood Planning, and we’ll be advertising them on the website.
If your Parish is already thinking about Neighbourhood Planning, SWT can come and talk to you about making the most of opportunities for nature. To discuss Neighbourhood Planning events and talks please contact Michelle Osbourn on  We look forward to hearing about your plans for nature near you soon!

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