Community Led Planning is a step-by-step process that enables every Parishioner to participate in, and contribute to, improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of their local area. Already undertaken by approximately 4,000 communities around England, it represents an unparalleled opportunity for people to take responsibility for making things happen locally, rather than waiting on others to do it for them.
This unique approach to community empowerment has been developed and refined in rural areas since the late 1970’s, largely as a response to the gradual withdrawal of public sector services and the increasing need for communities to look after their own affairs.
Over the years, Community Led Plans have taken on different names, including Village Appraisals, Parish Plans, Market Town Action Plans and, more recently, Neighbourhood Plans. They have developed their own particular characteristics, tending to be used in different geographical contexts.
One of the defining characteristics of all Community Led Plans is they are not imposed from above, but instead initiated and led by local volunteers, who steer their community through a step-by-step process that can be summarised as “L.E.A.D”.