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Symposium on Neighbourhood Planning

By • Sep 15th, 2011 • Category: Events, Strategy & Policy

London, 9 November 2011, Friends Meeting House

Neighbourhood Planning is designed to “return power to local people and local businesses on planning decisions”.

It’s hoped that it will allow communities to shape their own vision for their community, from deciding the locations of shops, offices and schools to setting standards of design for new housing and protecting green spaces of value to the community.

A key provision of the Decentralisation and Localism Bill, Neighbourhood Planning has laudable and ambitious aims of providing communities with real power. 126 Vanguard Communities – “Front Runners” – have now been chosen, with each front runner’s local council receiving £20,000 to support work on neighbourhood planning.

See the programme here

Download presentations from the Neighbourhood Planning Symposium

Read about the speakers at the Neighbourhood Planning Symposium

A real voice for communities?

Is Neighbourhood Planning a radical new power which will give local people a real voice in deciding how development will look in their area?

Or could the biggest shake-up of planning for over 50 years place the countryside under threat and leave communities and planning authorities vulnerable to developer pressure?

Will the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) weaken the planning system and threaten economic growth, or will it achieve its intention to put local people in the driving seat of decision making in the planning system, giving communities the power to decide the areas they wish to see developed and those to be protected?

How will Neighbourhood Plans affect your organisation, your community?

This Symposium comes at a crucial moment. Taking place after the Localism Bill is expected to have received Royal Assent and after a heated national consultation about the draft NPPF, this Symposium will:

  • offer an opportunity for the government to explain their ambition for the reforms to provide new powers to communities, make the planning system less complex and promote sustainable growth; and to discuss the results of the Consultation on the Draft NPPF
  • enable practitioners, professionals, communities and any organisation involved with or affected by the planning process to learn how Neighbourhood Planning will affect them and what opportunities it will provide in their community
  • demonstrate how to create and develop successful (community led) Neighbourhood Plans in both rural and in urban areas
  • showcase tools that communities can use to develop their own Neighbourhood Plans
  • provide an essential, unmissable learning, networking and discussion opportunity.

The Symposium is organised by Action for Market Towns (AMT), a national charity which provides market and small towns and local authorities with policy analysis, advice, best practice, help and support and national representation.

A limited number of supported bursary places are available for AMT members from town councils, voluntary and community organisations. For more information about AMT, please see below.

The Symposium is sponsored by Kirkwells and Renaisi

Kirkwells - The Planning PeopleKirkwells are chartered town planners with expertise in community consultation, engagement and neighbourhood-level planning. For more information please visit

RenaisiRenaisi is an award-winning social enterprise specialising in community-led regeneration, local economic development and planning and employment services. Their mission is to help create sustainable, attractive and inclusive neighbourhoods, which foster the talent and diversity of local people. For more information please visit

Read about all our supporters and exhibitors here

Who should come to the Symposium?

  • Officers and councillors in local authorities: whether urban, district or unitary
  • Town and parish councils
  • Town partnerships
  • Registered social landlords and housing associations
  • Consultants, academics, policy advisors and think tanks
  • Residents groups and community organisations
  • Housebuilders and developers

About Action for Market Towns

Action for Market Towns (AMT) is a national membership organisation that provides towns, local authorities and other members with:

  • Examples of best practice that they can replicate
  • Information, advice and analysis of how the latest government policy will affect them
  • National representation and advocacy

AMT is a not-for-profit company and a registered charity.

AMT has 14 years’ experience of working with towns, local authorities and other organisations. AMT believes that effective community action requires both independence and strategic support from local authorities and the public sector.

AMT supports the idea of Neighbourhood Planning putting greater decision making powers and more funding decisions in the hands of local people. AMT has long championed Community Led Planning in its broadest sense and its experience shows that with determination and a little guidance communities are ready to take control.

AMT runs an extensive programme of events, most of which are oversubscribed. Our ‘Practical Localism‘ event in May 2011 attracted delegates from city councils, unitary authorities, district councils, community organisations and the private sector. It was fully booked, with superb feedback.

What next?

For more information about the conference programme, media enquiries, or other queries please contact Jamie Veitch on 07904 272 200.

Delegate fees

AMT Members:
Private sector / local authority / other public sector: £95+VAT
Supported rate for Town councils, voluntary and community organisations: £45+VAT

AMT Non-members:
Private sector: £215+VAT
Public sector, voluntary and community organisations: £190+VAT

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is As Online Communications Coordinator, Katie is responsible for the running of the AMT website and has taken the charity into the world of social media. Her particular focus is to expand and promote AMT's database of more than 400 case studies of town and community projects - regularly cited as one of the most valuable aspects of AMT Membership. Katie's previous experience ranges from PA to an internationally-renowned architect in London to Manager of the Responsible Tourism Awards for in Brighton. Katie works on Tuesdays and Thursdays and can be contacted at
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