Over the past few months things have been moving forward on the proposals for the SE23 and SE26 Neighbourhood Plan. Now that the Localism Act has become law (November 2011), we have a better view of what is required and the regulations that will control the process of creating a Neighbourhood Plan.
The exciting thing about Neighbourhood Planning is that it has the potential to give real control to communities in helping shape their area. It also places a responsibility on Local Authorities to support communities in producing neighbourhood plans.
We have been meeting with Lewisham Planning Officers to discuss ideas for the area the plan will cover and how we can work closer in the future on this and other planning policy documents.
Our next steps include presenting our ideas to each Ward Assemblies in SE23 and SE26; identifying areas of funding to support our work with the wider community on the plan; and building up our database of people who are keen to help. We are keen to progress work on Forest Hill town centre, to gain a better understanding of what gives the area its special character, and how we can try and make sure that future development proposals support and reinforce what makes the area special.
If you can offer your time or skills to the Neighbourhood Planning process we'd love to hear from you. We will continue to keep you informed as work progresses over the coming months. Please email your details to Hilary@foresthillsociety.com with details of your interests, how you are able to help, or the issues we should be covering.