The three-year appointment is part of a major Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) contract that will be led by Locality, the nationwide network of community organisations, with AECOM as its principle subcontractor.
Under the new contract, AECOM will support the delivery of 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 DCLG and Locality determine how community groups can be best supported.
Neighbourhood planning has become a significant and popular part of the planning process in England since it was introduced in the 2011 Localism Act. To support the initiative, in 2013, DCLG announced the £9.5-million Neighbourhood Planning programme, which is being delivered by Locality, the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Planning Aid England (RTPI PAE) and AECOM, together with a number of voluntary organisations. The programme forms part of the government’s strategy to give communities more power in planning local development and use of land in their area.
Under the current programme, which is the first of its kind in the UK, AECOM has already supported over 80 communities across England with their neighbourhood plans. The company has delivered a wide range of technical studies to meet the diverse needs of these communities.
Stuart Woodin, Technical Director for Neighbourhood Planning & Engagement at AECOM, commented: “We are delighted to be playing a key role in the new neighbourhood planning contract, which underlines AECOM’s investment in the sector over the past three years and our employees’ enthusiasm for community regeneration. AECOM’s expertise, which includes planning, environment, landscape, transport and heritage, will help local groups design their own sustainable solutions that meet the needs of their area.”
Locality Chief Executive Tony Armstrong said: “It’s fantastic news that we’ll be able to continue offering our support to people who want the power to shape the development of their own neighbourhoods, and we’re delighted that we’ll be expanding our work in that area. Over the past two years, we’ve helped local people create the neighbourhoods they want to live in and now more than 10% of the population lives in a designated Neighbourhood Plan area. We’re very proud to have helped so many people understand the opportunities available to them and to have guided them through the process.”
AECOM is a premier, fully integrated professional and technical services firm positioned to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world for public- and private-sector clients. With nearly 100,000 employees — including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals — serving clients in over 150 countries around the world, AECOM is ranked as the #1 engineering design firm by revenue in Engineering News-Record magazine’s annual industry rankings. The company is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, oil and gas, water, high-rise buildings and government. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering customized and creative solutions that meet the needs of clients’ projects. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM companies, including URS Corporation and Hunt Construction Group, had revenue of approximately $19 billion during the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2014. More information on…