Saturday, 3 January 2015

Discussing a Neighbourhood Plan for Old Buckenham

Neighbourhood Plan for Old Buckenham, yes or no ?
Over forty people gathered in Old Buckenham Village Hall this morning to discuss the pros and cons of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the village. The meeting was chaired by Mike Bartlett who introduced the four speakers.
First was Tim Bornett who went through why he felt Old Buckenham should embark on Neighbourhood Plan. He was followed by Sarah Hornbrook, a planning consultant  living in the village, who was able to explain the procedures that had to be gone through and the legal status of such a plan. Our District Councillor Adrian Joel talked about other nearby places that were in the process of producing such a plan. Then the chairman of Old Buckenham Parish Council, Steve Milner, gave the council's view on the value of the scheme to the village and the work involved in producing such a document.
There were a wide range of questions from the audience including whether the plan could be as simple or complicated as we liked, what difference it might make to local planning decisions and how much it might cost to produce and get approved as a legal document.
The general feeling of the meeting seemed to be that they were neither for or against, that more information was needed and that it would be helpful to have someone from Breckland Council Planning Department to attend any future meetings. 
 A break for tea/coffee, with the opportunity for further questions directed to individual speakers, gave many people the chance to have informal discussions both with the speakers and other members of the audience.
This meeting was on a subject that could greatly affect what goes on in the village many years into the future. Rather surprisingly there didn't seem to be anyone in the audience under the age of forty, in fact the great majority would be holders of bus passes or free tv licences...

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