At Rural Kent, we believe that communities have the power to influence change.
We work with local communities to plan for their future, by supporting parish councils and community groups in the production of Community Led Plans.
Successful Community Led Plans:
There are different types of Community Led Plan, including:
Village Design Statements
These three models are explained below.
A Parish Plan determines the future of your community, and how it can change for the better. It is a document that sets out a vision for the future of the parish and outlines how that can be achieved in an Action Plan. Despite its name, a Parish Plan is not designed to deal with land use matters in detail,
Go to our Parish Plan page to find out more about what a Parish Plan can do for your community, how to go about producing one and links to case studies and other useful resources. There are also brief explanations on the Community Right to Challenge and the Community Right to Bid - useful powers that may assist communities in delivering their Action Plans.
The Localism Act introduces a new right for a parish council or a neighbourhood forum to produce a ‘neighbourhood development plan’ setting out policies against which traditional planning applications could be judged. These policies could cover:
Go to our Neighbourhood Plan page to find out more about what a Neighbourhood Plan can do for your community, how to go about producing one and links to case studies and other useful resources. There are also brief explanations on the Community Right to Build.
A Village Design Statement provides an opportunity for your community to describe how they feel the physical character of the parish can be enhanced. It is a document that identifies what is special, unique and distinctive about the character of the built environment within parish.
It provides design guidance to influence change and improve the physical qualities of the area.
You can read an article written by our Rural Officer, Carl Adams, that discusses the differences between different types of plans. Originally published in our Autumn 2012 edition of Oast to Coast you can download it here.
ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) has produced a series of Topic Sheets on local issues that communities may wish to explore when undertaking a Community Led Plan. These have been produced with other key stakeholder organisations with expertise in the topic.
Each sheet shows how you can find out if there is community need and support for local projects, and how you can evidence this in your Parish Plan.
Community Pubs and other Social Enterprise (with the Plunkett Foundation)
Community Shops (with the Plunkett Foundation)
Raising Capital with a Community Shares issue (with Community Share Unit)
Community Food Growing (with Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens)
Energy Efficiency (with NEA)
Renewable Energy (with Centre for Sustainable Energy)
Affordable Warmth (with Calor)
Community Safety (with Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network)
Emergency Planning (with Gloucestershire Rural Community Council)
An Ageing Population (with Age UK and Rural Media Company)
Community Buildings (with Church of England, The United Reformed Church, The Methodist Church)
Rural Tourism (with Hidden Britain)
Your Heritage (with English Heritage)
Staff at Rural Kent can help you get going.