Support & Guidance
Planning is one of the most important ways we can control, shape and protect our environment, and if you want to influence how your community grows, the best time to get involved is is at earliest stages of the development process, when sites are being allocated for different uses by the local authority and neighbourhood plans are being created. Parish councils have a vital role to play in this and will be consulted so there is greater potential to influence decisions if you play an active role in your parish council.
In many cases though, people only become aware of a development planned for their area when a notice goes up on a local site or it is announced in a parish magazine or newsletter. When it gets to this stage, the best way to make your views heard is through responding to the planning application and encouraging others in your community to do the same. Understanding the complexities of the planning system can be off-putting and difficult but CPRE Norfolk offers a range of publications and on-line support to guide you through the system.
Please note that CPRE Norfolk is a very small charity and we rely on volunteers to carry out most of our planning activities. For this reason we are not always able to get involved in individual planning applications, although we will give help and guidance whenever we can to enable you to make your own response to a planning application.
CPRE’s invaluable Planning Help website should be a first point of call for any questions or concerns about a planning issue. It takes you through all aspects of the planning process from how to comment on a planning application to how they are decided. There are sample letters of objection and of support, and a useful glossary of terms. It also contains advice on campaigning; giving tips on how to gather support for your cause and get your message across. Further advice can be found in the Community Led Planning pages of Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE). ACRE is the national voice for the 38 rural community councils who make up the country’s largest rural network.
You can also go through all the sources of information in our standard planning advice letter which is a a very comprehensive resource with lots of advice and links to the film and presentations in our Planning Training Seminar in April 2016.
If you need help with your planning application, or you would like to become a CPRE Norfolk Planning Warden, please use our planning resource.
Sources of Information
When responding to planning applications it is important to give valid planning reasons why you support or object to an application. So you will need to familiarise yourself with the policies in your local plan which are available on the website of your District Council and with other sources of evidence. Some documents you may find helpful….
Norfolk Rural Strategy 2013 Dataset: This is a very useful publication which gives statistics on a range of socio-economic factors in Norfolk, such as employment, demographics, wages, house prices, home ownership, car ownership, plus much more.
Demography and Information in Norfolk Based on the latest available census statistics, this document gives details of population changes, demographic trends and household projections.
Natural England’s Character Area Profiles: These profiles provide a thorough look at specific landscape area’s characteristics, geology, topology, biodiversity and ecology, with useful statistics and data. In Norfolk, the Character areas are divided into The Fens, North West Norfolk, North Norfolk Coast, Central North Norfolk, North East Norfolk and Flegg, The Broads, Suffolk Coast and Heaths (which includes parts of the area between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft), South Norfolk and High Suffolk Claylands, Mid Norfolk and The Brecks.
Set up by environmental lawyers Leigh Day, the Environmental and Planning Litigation Service (EPLS) provides useful guidance on what is involved if you wish to challenge a development on legal grounds. Please note CPRE Norfolk does not recommend or promote the services of any commercial company, but includes this link as a source of information.