Neighbourhood Plans get £22.4 million funding boost

Published November 14th, 2017

A welcome boost for Neighbourhood Plans has been announced, with the Government committing £22.4 million over 2018-2022 to support such Plans.

“Neighbourhood planning enables communities to decide the future of the places where they live and work and this funding will help Neighbourhood Plan Groups tremendously,” said Helen Howie, a planning consultant at Berrys.

“The £9,000 grant funding being offered to every neighbourhood planning group in England helps them buy in technical and professional expertise whilst staying in full control of the process.”

The extra funding reflects the Government’s commitments in its White Paper ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’ which proposes to build on the success of neighbourhood planning and deliver more housing that is acceptable to local communities.

This document notes that 73 per cent of people say they would support the building of more homes if well designed and in keeping with their local area. The Government believes that Neighbourhood Planning is the way to unlock this support.

“Unfortunately, too often local people hear about a development scheme late in the day, after a planning application has been submitted,” said Helen.

“It is far better if communities engage at a much earlier stage, setting out their expectations for the design of development in a Neighbourhood Plan.

“The wide range of professionals at Berrys provides Neighbourhood Plan Groups with expertise that encompasses planners, architects, surveyors and business consultants,” she explained.

“We have more than 50 professionals in our five offices, providing a depth of experience on which Neighbourhood Plan groups can draw.”

Neighbourhood Plan Groups need to check that their professional advisers have no conflicts of interest with other clients, whether landowners, developers or local authorities in their area.

“Berrys’ clients are mainly in the East and West Midlands, so we don’t have conflicts of interest when working for Neighbourhood Plan Groups in the South West and North West of England,” explained Helen.

“We are focusing our Neighbourhood Plan support services on Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire and Northumbria for this reason.”

Berrys offers a wide range of professional services to Neighbourhood Plan Groups including:

Site assessments for site allocations
Sustainability Appraisal
Environmental Impact Assessments
Housing needs assessments
Design advice and Master planning
Negotiations with your local planning authority
Negotiations with developers
Policy map production

For further information please contact Helen Howie on 07741 313576 or email



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More about Helen Howie

Planning Consultant
Tel: 01743 239028
Mobile: 07741 313576

Helen is a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute with qualifications from Aberdeen and Liverpool Universities, where she was the winner of the Abercrombie Prize.

Helen has a solid 16 years’ experience from both private and public sectors, with particular expertise in Local and Neighbourhood Plans, housing and larger scale developments. She has given talks at a number of RTPI events and for the Government’s Planning Advisory Service, and is known for her proactive and dedicated approach.