What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their area through the production of a land-use planning policy. Through the Neighbourhood Plan process, communities can decide where they would like new homes and business premises, and what those buildings could look like. It can also be used to protect areas of local green space.
Once a Plan is ‘made’ it becomes statutory planning policy for your local area.
A Neighbourhood Plan can:
· Decide where and what type of development should happen in the neighbourhood
· Promote more development than is set out in the Local Plan (Central Bedfordshire Council)
· Include evidence-based policies, for example on design standards that take precedence over existing policies in the Local Plan for the area
A Neighbourhood Plan cannot:
· Conflict with the strategic policies in the Local Plan
· Be used to prevent development that is included in the Local Plan
· Be prepared by a body other than a Town or Parish Council
The key point is that the focus of Neighbourhood Plans must be on planning issues and the plan must be realistic.
How far have we got?
A Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has been formed, and an application submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council to designate the area for the plan as ‘Stotfold and Astwick’, which will follow the parish boundaries for both areas.
The Steering Group currently has councillors and a small number of residents – we need more please! We’re looking for people who have a keen interest in the future of Stotfold, who might have useful skills they can bring to the Group, such as data analysis, report writing, social media skills.
All residents can be part of the Neighbourhood Plan process - you will be consulted along the way, and then asked for your views on the final plan.
The first things to start having a think about are what you like or dislike about Stotfold, what you might want to see protected or changed?
When we are ready and the Stotfold & Astwick Neighbourhood Plan designation area has been approved, we will come back to you and ask you for your thoughts. In the meantime, if you are interesting in joining the Steering Group, or even if you are interested in the process but can’t give us much time, we still want to hear from you – please contact the Town Clerk on email@example.com.
If you would like to meet our Steering Group members and hear more about the Neighbourhood Plan process, you are invited to attend an informal get-together on Tuesday 24th May, 7pm in the Council Chamber, Greenacre Centre.