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Planning pilot trial areas announced

Planning minister Greg Clark has announced the first eight businesses which will work directly with their local communities in a trial for proposed new neighbourhood planning powers.

The new powers, contained in the Localism Bill, aim to stimulate local economies and will see the firms help develop a business-led neighbourhood plan which, it is hoped, will benefit the whole community.

Known as business neighbourhood frontrunners, the firms will engage with local authorities and community groups to draw up a planning framework to bring the right kind of development to their area. A local referendum will then be held on the proposals.

Clark said: ‘We need to involve local companies more explicitly in neighbourhood planning decisions for business areas if communities are to get the most out of them.

‘Businesses have access to skills, resources and expertise that can give a real boost to getting the right kind of growth under way in many areas. Business neighbourhood frontrunners are about residents and businesses shaping their neighbourhood together.’

The areas that have expressed an interest in being business neighbourhood frontrunners, typically business and industrial parks and retail neighbourhoods, are: Aldershot Town Centre; Bankside, London; Central Milton Keynes; Liverpool Innovation Park; Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead; Trafford Park, Manchester; South Bank, London, New West End Company, London.

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