1. Communities should be encouraged and supported to engage both in conventional consultation processes and through more creative mechanisms, including theatre, film, cartoons, music and art;

2. Both elected representatives and employees in local government should work with communities proactively. Officers should not become a hidden hurdle to reform;

3. Planning use classes should differentiate between socially and culturally beneficial uses and those that pursue solely economic aims. Local, place-based concerns should be capable of being ‘material considerations’ under planning law;

4. Outline planning permission should incorporate some commitments to principles of internal design rather than focusing solely on the size and location of the development;

5. Criminal laws and planning rules should not be used to stop bottom-up improvement of areas. Local communities should be able to adorn their environments – through planting, art and signage – without the consent of the local authority;

6. Support, both financial and logistical, should be made available to enable communities to see examples of good practice elsewhere;

7. The new neighbourhood planning proposals need to engage with the multiplicity of communities. There are many publics and communities that all need to be engaged, including more marginalised groups. This will require time and resources. Bottom-up initiatives need support if they are not to become simply a base for the most vocal;

8. Conventionally unrepresented groups, particularly socially and economically disadvantaged young people, can be engaged through more creative mechanisms such as music and art. This builds individual confidence and strengthens links with the local community and other related groups;

9. Communities often become most engaged in positive projects rather than critiques
of existing policies. This requires some funding as well as access to expertise. It is more productive than a negative critique of planning applications and the scrutiny of planning documents.

 

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