What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan is, under the Localism Act, part of the statutory planning process. It aims to allow communities to have a significant role in shaping the development of growth in their local area.
Why a Joint Neighbourhood Plan?
Whilst a Plan cannot prevent a housing allocation for either parish, it can lay down some of the rules under which development takes place. This includes where new houses should be sited, the type of development which best fits in with the community and stipulating the infrastructure necessary to support the development that takes place. In addition, a parish receives a larger percentage of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) if it has a Neighbourhood Plan, providing additional financial resources for use in the parish. The consultation on the Vale of White Horse Local Plan Part 2 was be published in February 2017 and we can expect both parishes will be significantly affected by the proposed major development of Dalton Barracks. The Steering Group has responded. Furthermore, indications are that the direction of travel in development pursued by central and local government would suggest that communities without a Neighbourhood Plan could be at a significant disadvantage compared with communities that have one and may also be more vulnerable to being subjected to unwanted development.
Community involvement in the preparation of the Plan
Developing a Plan does involve a sustained effort by the community over at least a year. The two Parish Councils do not have the manpower and administrative resources to develop the Plan on their own. It is essential, therefore, that volunteers from both communities step forward to get involved. These should not only include local residents with professional expertise, but also people who are prepared to help with areas such as researching information, minute taking and the delivery of community survey questionnaires within the two parishes.
What we are doing
We have submitted the designated area of the NP to the VWHDC and are waiting for their final decision. You can view progress on this Designated Area Consultation here. Once the Designated Area has been approved, drafting of the Plan would begin.
The Steering Group would then oversee a consultation with the community to find out residents’ priorities. It is hoped that other members of the two communities would be willing to take on particular tasks or look at specific areas such as traffic or transport.
Once the Plan has been completed it would go to the Vale of White Horse District Council for its agreement before being the subject of a referendum of all residents in the two communities.