AECOM is set to deliver a wide range of planning and environmental services to help communities across England develop their neighbourhood plans and shape development and growth in their local area. The four-year appointment is part of a major Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) contract that will be led by Locality, the nationwide network of community organisations, with AECOM as its principle subcontractor. The contract follows a three-year appointment previously held by AECOM delivering neighbourhood planning services for over 500 communities across England.
Under the new contract, AECOM will support the delivery of potentially hundreds of neighbourhood plans, which include the location of new housing and businesses. Neighbourhood plans that are approved in local referenda will form a crucial part of the development plan for local authority areas and have become a powerful tool when considering planning applications. The new contract will introduce a scoping phase where AECOM will help groups to identify their needs, as well as the opportunities for growth and regeneration in their communities. This information will help the MHCLG and Locality determine how community groups can be best supported.
Stuart Woodin, Lead Technical Director for the project at AECOM, said: “Our support provides vital evidence to a whole new generation of ‘lay planners’ from all walks of life who are grappling with the opportunities as well as the challenges presented by planning their places. We are thrilled to be involved for another four years with Locality in this unique Private-Voluntary Sector Partnership.”
Carole Reilly, Locality Director of Services, commented: “Locality is committed to empowering people to shape their communities; neighbourhood planning brings statutory power for communities to do this. Our unique partnership means that we can combine AECOM’s technical expertise with Locality’s deep reach into communities to deliver expert and lasting change at the most local level. We are delighted to have the opportunity to build on our work so far and to continue our partnership for the next four years.”