Neighbourhood plans allow communities to play a much stronger role in shaping the areas in which they live and work and in supporting new development proposals. They stimulate local debate and foster meaningful engagement among citizens. As such they are an important recent innovation in local democracy. They also complement the work of councils, who have a very important role working with citizens to shape and curate the built environment.
The Neighbourhood Planner of the Year Award, sponsored by the Department for Communities and Local Government, aims to celebrate councillors who have championed the neighbourhood planning process amongst their communities. They may have helped to coordinate a local planning group, providing support and leadership, assisted with access to funding and resources, or championed neighbourhood-planning priorities to local decision makers and policy leaders.