Planning Services

We offer a comprehensive range of planning services to public and private sector clients including residential, commercial, leisure and community-led schemes.

Community and Neighbourhood Planning

A Neighbourhood Plan provides local communities with the ability to affect the development plans of where they live.  The Localism Act 2011 was issued with the intention of shifting power from Central Government towards local people, giving more power to those that actually live within the affected area. Specifically, the Act made provision for local communities to draw up neighbourhood plans; deliver development within their own communities without the need for a traditional planning application; be consulted on development proposals before a planning application is submitted; strengthen planning authorities’ powers to tackle abuses of the planning system; and benefit from funds collected under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and New Homes Bonus (NHB).

How Can RCA Help Communities with their Neighbourhood Plans?

RCA offers a planning advice and consultancy service geared specifically towards Neighbourhood Planning for Parish Councils, local community groups and residents.  As part of our ‘Neighbourhood Blueprint’ concept, we can provide the following services:-

  • Preparation of Neighbourhood Plans;
  • Provide advice/guidance on community development proposals;
  • Objections to/support of/make representations on planning applications and emerging development plans;
  • Advice on perceived abuses of the planning system; and
  • Maximise benefits for local communities under Section 106 agreements and CIL.

We have significant experience in objecting to inappropriate planning proposals on behalf of Parish Councils and other community groups and have succeeded in forcing the withdrawal or amendment of such proposals in a number of instances.  We have also worked on behalf of community groups on S106 agreements and secured additional benefit for local communities.

For more information please see our dedicated Neighbourhood Blueprint website.

How can a Neighbourhood Plan help your Community?

Neighbourhood plans provide residents and community groups with the ability to shape the area in which they live, tailor development plans and be involved in decisions regarding community benefits.  A neighbourhood plan provides a ‘shared vision’ over future planning policies and development.

It can add much more detail to a Core Strategy or Development Plan, which generally focusses on the big issues and District or Borough-wide planning policies.  Issues such as design codes for your local area or parameters for certain types of site can be incorporated into a Neighbourhood Plan.

We have extensive experience of community engagement and the development of planning policy.  Some of our team are former planning policy officers and understand the need to create a sound plan even at a neighbourhood plan level.

We can provide a tailor-made service that meets your requirements, whether you would like just an arms-length advice or significant involvement from our team.