6 Dec 2010
Policy area: Planning
The property industry has broadly welcomed the announcement by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Planning Minister Greg Clark that would see planning powers handed down from “Town Halls and Whitehall bureaucrats” to local communities.
The British Property Federation asked if ministers would consider including businesses in the Neighbourhood Plan referendum process, recognising them as an integral part of the fabric of any local community.
Dubbed the 'building blocks of the Big Society', the proposals come ahead of the publication of the Localism Bill.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: " We understand and support the principle of devolving power to neighbourhoods, but this announcement raises some interesting questions as to how this will work in practice – particularly in urban areas that do not have parish councils.
“Will there be a minimum or maximum size for a Neighbourhood Forum? And will the referendum process to adopt Neighbourhood Plans also enfranchise businesses?
“We look forward to working with ministers as more detail emerges in the Localism Bill.”