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Localism Bill - 380 neighbourhood plans per year predicted

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The Government has predicted that 380 neighbourhood plans will be created annually in the first five years after the implementation of the Localism Bill

According to an official report, around 55 per cent of local communities will create neighbourhood plans after 11 years.

Based on the number of electoral wards, it puts the number of neighbourhoods in England at around 7,618.

The average cost per plan will fall between £17,000 and £63,000, the Department for Communities and Local Government estimates.

Neighbourhood plans are designed to create a local level tier in the planning system, with community groups drawing up proposals with the help of local authorities before putting the plans forward for approval in a local referendum.

The total national cost of referenda would be approximately £3 million per year, or £27m over the 10-year-period from 2012 onwards, according to the Government’s ‘best estimate’.

Decentralisation minister Greg Clark said: ‘Any public policy has pros and cons. In one of the most comprehensive exercises undertaken by any Government department to date, we are setting out our frank assessment of the effects of our radical proposals.

‘This demonstrates our commitment to openness and transparency. These reports prove the net benefits to local economies, to local democracy and to community life of the coalition Government’s decentralisation programme.’

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