The Localism Act 2011 gave new powers to neighbourhood groups to draw up neighbourhood plans for their area. Outside London, it is parish councils which are making most use of these powers.
A local community organisation of 21 people or more can seek designation as a ‘neighbourhood forum’ and use the powers under the Act to put together a neighbourhood plan for their area. In 2012 the St Helens Residents Association acted as the ‘qualifying body’ in applying for designation of the St Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Forum, and this forum was designated by Kensington and Chelsea Council in 2013.
Membership of the Forum and of the residents association is the same, and currently numbers 420 people who either live or work within the neighbourhood boundary.
The Forum prepared a neighbourhood plan for the area which received 93% majority support at a local referendum in 2016 and was formally adopted by the Council as part of the Local Development Plan in 2018.
There are now 15 such neighbourhood plans in force in different parts of London. The policies in these plans are applied when planning applications are decided.
For information on on the St Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Plan see at our sister website http://stqw.org/wordpress/. If you are are applying for planning permission to build or alter a property in the StQW area, it is well worth checking that your proposals will conform with the policies in the neighbourhood plan. A copy can be downloaded from the RBKC website at this link.