The Shadow Cabinet has outlined Labour’s current thinking about the future of Localism and neighbourhood planning.

Writing in the booklet ‘Labour and localism: perspectives on a new English deal’ Hilary Benn, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, says that following devolution in Wales and Scotland, there is “unfinished business” in transferring greater decision-making power to the local level in England.

Roberta Blackman-Woods, Shadow Planning Minister, reiterates Labour support for neighbourhood planning, saying the party intends to extend its scope, incorporating it in local plan making at an earlier stage and streamlining the process.

The comments provide a potentially significant insight into Labour’s policy formulation in the run-up to next year’s General Election, just as the Conservative’s ‘Green Papers’: ‘Control Shift’, ‘Strong Foundations’ and ‘Open Source Planning’ previously did in advance of the Coalition’s raft of planning reforms.

Redwood has outstanding experience in advising clients on the neighbourhood planning process and has helped prepare the way for some of the earliest proposed plans in the country. This has included supporting the designation of the Mayfair Neighbourhood Business Area, Mayfair Neighbourhood Forum, Victoria Neighbourhood Business Area and also the Belgravia Neighbourhood Area (currently awaiting designation). We will continue to follow developments closely but if we can help you navigate Localism or the sometimes complex neighbourhood planning system, then please contact: