Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Neighbourhood plan for Old Buckenham?

To plan or not plan, that is the question
Old Buckenham Parish Council is inviting all parishioners to join them at the Annual Parish meeting on Wednesday 18 March at 7.30pm at the Village Hall for a presentation on neighbourhood plans. There will be a presentation of research to date followed by discussion and debate to get views on whether to create a neighbourhood plan for Old Buckenham.
Neighbourhood planning is a new system which is intended to give local communities more say in the planning and development of their areas. Neighbourhood planning is voluntary, so a neighbourhood plan will only be made for a given area if a local council (parish or town) or local group takes the initiative to prepare one.
There are a number of possible advantages, including the ability to write specific policies about the issues that matter to residents. There are also financial advantages for the parish council who can secure larger payments from developers if new houses are built in the village. Subjects that can be covered include housing, employment, shopping, transport, leisure, well being and environment.
Likely stages in preparing a neighbourhood plan would be:
1. Establish a working group to create ideas and suggestions. The group should represent local interested parties and individuals.
2. Appointment of planning consultants (optional but may be necessary)
3. Application for grant and other funding.
4. Publicity, including leaflets delivered to homes and business premises, information on social media, public meetings and exhibitions asking for the views of local people.
5. Collation of feedback from publicity and working groups.
6. Production of a draft plan.
7. Draft plan must be publicised and sent to local planning authority. Other consultees need to be informed - English Heritage, Highways, etc.
8. After the consultation period, the plan is submitted to the local planning authority and must include a map of the area, a consultation statement, the proposed neighbourhood plan and a statement explaining how the plan complies with the town and country planning act 1990.
9. Examination is arranged by the local planning authority, to be completed by an independent examiner.
10. Examiner reports to the local planning authority with recommendations.
11. Once the plan is finalised the local planning authority must organise a referendum in which all local government electors for the plan are entitled to vote.
If you have any comments or thoughts on the relevance of a neighbourhood plan to our village of Old Buckenham please contact Old Buckenham Parish Council at
oldbuckenhampc@live.co.uk or write to the Parish Clerk, R J M Watling, at 29 Field Maple Road, Watton, Thetford, IP25 6GA.

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