On 21 May, SoWN hosted an event organised by ‘free range neighbourhood planner’ Tony Burton at the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre. Described by speaker Aiden Wilkie, Deputy Director of Neighbourhood Planning at the DCLG as ‘the largest gathering of neighbourhood planners yet’, Local London attracted over 130 people, and a significant proportion of London’s 85 neighbourhoods at various stages of preparing plans.
The agenda included discussion between Tony, James Earl, Chair of West Hampstead and Fortune Green Neighbourhood Forum and John Parmiter, who examined the West Hampstead Plan. For the vast majority of Neighbourhood Forums yet to experience the examination, this was an invaluable insight into the process.
A panel comprising Rebecca Collings from the East Shoreditch Neighbourhood Forum, Renu Kaul of Sudbury Town Neighbourhood Forum, Jenny Frew from DCLG, Angela Koch of ImaginePlaces and Richard Lee of Just Space considered questions sent in by attendees. These included issues relating to the process of working with boroughs and the GLA, concerns about the lack of neighbourhood plans coming forward in outer London and others.
After the break, during which delegates were asked to consider what needed to be done to help neighbourhood planning to become more influential in London, Ben Stephenson of South Bank & Waterloo Neighbours asked the meeting to consider a proposal to form an Association of London Neighbourhood Planners. Though there was general support for the idea of working together, reservations were voiced about the degree to which a new body would represent the interests of neighbourhood planners in any lobbying activity.
It was suggested that a start could be made with an online resource to act as a central point of information, guidance and discussion. More to follow on this, but comments on the proposal can be posted below.
The slides from the event can be accessed HERE.
The day was rounded off in the form of the 4th London Neighbourhood Planning Gathering by networking drinks on the roof garden of the Queen Elizabeth Hall , organised by Angela Koch of ImaginePlaces.
Any feedback can be sent to the meeting’s organiser, Tony Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other events coming up
- Writing Planning Policies with Tony Burton, Locality, 29 May 2015 (RSVP, Julia Blest: email@example.com)
- ‘Engaging busy People in Neighbourhood Planning’ workshop , 18 June 2015
- RTPI Neighbourhood Planing conference, 24 June 2015