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A. About 12 months.

A very short answer based on the experiences of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum who began the process in January 2012 and completed it in December 2012.

This is not the end of the Highgate story - they are now putting their Neighbourhood Plan, which, two years further on, is not yet complete.

My questions at this stage for the Crouch End Neighbourhood addresses mainly the setting up of the forum. Until this is achieved detailed planning for a Plan(!) is premature

I have tried to create a project plan for stages in lifecycle of Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum.

In summary, this is what it looks like

I have taken several sources of information to act as the basis for this plan:

1)      Haringey’s website which has a three point plan to get to the definition of a Neighbourhood Area

2)      Cornwall’s website which has a 7 point plan to get to a Neighbourhood Plan

3)      A Locality  ‘roadmap’ which has 7 worksheets, to get to a Neighbourhood Plan

4)      The Highgate Neighbourhood Forum website which has a lot of information, including actual timescales, and two local authority documents relating to the creation of the Neighbourhood Forum

  1. A Camden checklist (brief and to the point)
  2. A Haringey submission to Cabinet (long, rambling – leading hither and thither, hence and yon)


The ultimate goal of the process is the Referendum adopting the Neighbourhood Plan. The major steps along the way are

A)Taking the decision to create a Neighbourhood Plan
B) Defining and Agreeing the Neighbourhood Area
C) Creating and gaining recognition for the Neighbourhood Forum
D) Defining the Neighbourhood Plan
E) Holding the Referendum


A) is complete (though no decision is final – options might be considered at a later stage)

B) and C) are now being conducted simultaneously

D) has a number of sub-steps

a)      Community Engagement and Involvement (w/s 4)

b)      Building the evidence base (w/s 5)

c)      Writing the Neighbourhood Plan (w/s 6)

d)      Submitting the Plan (w/s 7)

e)      Public Referendum


The references “(w/s x)” refer to the worksheets in the ‘roadmap’


It should be possible to define steps B) and C) quite precisely, by assigning names to tasks and gaining commitment to end dates. Step D) might never happen if either the Area or the Forum are not recognised, and is some way in the future, so should not be planned in detail. Tasks that can only be undertaken by the local authority are outside our control.


In an attempt to give this process a superficial gloss of command and control I have installed ProjectLibre on my compute and created a project plan, which can be downloaded from here.  The plan is attached as a .pod file.


The next step would be a review to check

  • The level of detail in the plan
  • Whether task durations are realistic
  • Whether dependencies are missing / superfluous
  • Allocating names to tasks


Certainly missing from the plan at present are tasks such as ‘buying the domain names’ ‘setting up the website’ and probably lots of others.


Then for each task we need occasional estimates of percentage complete and revised end dates 

Tags: project plan

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