Parish Plans should:-
- Investigate all aspects of community life including social environmental and economic issues
- Be inclusive, giving the entire community the opportunity to have an impact on the production and contents of the plan
- Provide information for local community groups alongside service providers
- Provide a clear plan of action with lead partners for each action
What a Parish Plan can do for you?
The main reason a parish undertakes a parish plan is to provide a plan of action for the future, indicating what people would like to see changed, improved or preserved.
A parish plan can also be used in numerous ways to benefit a community or a parish. Ultimately it is a community document that individuals, businesses and groups can use to pursue their own projects and ideas. The plan will also provide information to local authorities and service providers which in turn can help them improve their services to the parish.
In order to fund projects, funders want to see evidence of need e.g. Lancashire Environment Fund, Big Lottery Fund. If the correct questions are asked a parish plan can be the document to provide this evidence to support local projects and services.
Parish Plans have been used to support the following types of projects:
- The setting up of a new group i.e. Badminton club, Historical Society, Drama group
- Purchasing new equipment i.e. Sport equipment
- Providing evidence for a Village Hall refurbishment
- Indicating the need for a village shop or a community shop
- Providing information for lobbying groups i.e. Speed Awareness or conservation group
- Information for a business plan for a new business or social enterprise
Village Design Statements (VDS)
Some Parish or Town Councils may be considering a village design statement (VDS). A VDS is different from a Parish plan or Healthcheck in that it only focuses on the spatial aspects of the community eg housing, hedges, lighting, and signage. Similarly, through consultation, it aims to identify the qualities and characteristics that local people value in their village and surroundings. A VDS cannot be used to stop new development, but it can be used to influence developers and local planning authorities, and to ensure that new buildings respect and reflect local character. A VDS can be produced on its own however many communities either produce one at the same time as a community plan or as one of the actions identified through the process.