Helping to shape the Local Plan

I wanted to share an email that I received about the process to review Newham’s Local Plan. There is lots of information online about what a deceptively boringly titled ‘Local Plan’ is, but in essence it sets out a vision for the borough, and is the starting point on which planning applications are made.

You can read all about it here:

The email I received was sent directly to me because I am signed up on the ‘Newham Co-create’ website, which is a space where you can participate in various activities across Newham, including the Community Assemblies, the work being done on High Streets, and more. It said:

Dear Rachel Tripp,

Newham Council and a multidisciplinary team led by architects Maccreanor Lavington are inviting local residents, businesses, community groups and other stakeholders to share their knowledge, experiences and ideas for their neighbourhoods as part of the Newham Characterisation Study. The Characterisation Study is a key piece of evidence that will inform the Local Plan Refresh and the Council’s approach to delivering 15 minute neighbourhoods.

This engagement, running through October and November, will help to shape future decisions as part of the Local Plan Refresh. Look out for further updates on the Local Plan Refresh later this month.

How can I get involved?

There are digital engagement opportunities on the Newham Co-create platform, including a survey and a mapping exercise to help us learn about the places and spaces that make your neighbourhood feel like home.

There are a wide range of ways you can tell us about your neighbourhood and contribute to the vision for its future between now and the 28th November 2021.

More digital events will follow. There are also a number of in-person workshops and events taking place across October and November, including pop-up activities across Newham’s high streets and public places. These will be advertised on the platform in the coming weeks.

If you are unable to take part via the online tools, we are able to send you a printed back with a prepaid return envelope. If you would like a printed pack, please send an email to with your name and address you would like the pack posted to (your personal data will be recorded and used in line with the Council’s data protection policies).

We are looking forward hear your thoughts and see your pictures and videos about your neighbourhood.

Kind regards,

Newham Planning Policy Team

Maccreanor Lavington

This seemed important enough to share in its entirety. I am pretty passionate about planning in any case, being now Chair of the Strategic Development Committee which considers larger planning applications.

I’m especially passionate and positive about the ‘fifteen minute neighbourhood’ approach to planning, which I think becomes even more important after the experience we have had with the pandemic and lockdowns. Local shops and local facilities were not only the providers of milk and bread flour, but became the backbone of our communities at a time when we were all so isolated. Creating a borough where we can all walk easily to the things we need, and having that in mind when determining planning decisions, feels like a very positive way of making a better place to live that is more environmentally friendly, and more conducive to making friends and connections.

If you aren’t already signed up to Newham Co-Create, I would urge you to do so. Please do go online and participate in the various activities. The more input we have, the better the Local Plan will be, and the better a borough we can create.

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