by Ed Dade
Before beginning to write your plan, it is a good idea to carry out some 'early engagement' with local people.
This serves two purposes. Firstly, it raises the profile of your neighbourhood planning project by bringing it to the attention of local people - it may even help you to recruit volunteers.
Second, it will help you to find out the planning issues affecting local people on a day-to-day basis, and allow you to gather these views and opinions. This information is valuable evidence to inform the main themes of your plan.
You could hold a stall at the village fete, and create some fun activities to gather people's comments and opinions.
Many groups will send a questionnaire to households, or online via a website or social media.
All Neighbourhood Plans must be accompanied by a Consultation Statement. It is vital that you keep a record of all the consultation and engagement you undertake throughout the process of writing your plan.