Deprived regions missing out on Neighbourhood Plans, ResPublica says

Think tank ResPublica has published a study which highlights instances where poorer communities are missing out on government schemes to improve neighbourhoods.

The study found that the vast majority of the 200 Neighbourhood Plans which have so far been created are in affluent areas. Ten local authority areas that had the highest proportion of deprived neighbourhoods had five or fewer designated neighbourhood plan areas in their district.

In comparison, local authorities with more than 20 designated neighbourhood plan areas tended to be in affluent areas such as Cheshire East, East Devon, South Hams, Wiltshire and Chichester.

Caroline Julian, deputy director of ResPublica, said: “Deprived communities across Britain are missing out on the chance to improve their surroundings which we know has a range of knock on benefits, including to health.

“Our research shows that how people perceive the beauty of their local area and the quality of their local community – in terms of crime rates and maintenance of the area – are closely linked. People in areas they find unappealing are less likely to see themselves as positively as they could do – harming their ability to find good jobs and live productive lives. Politicians must reach out to people in these areas and empower them to take action through Neighbourhood Plans.”