Wollaston neighbourhood plan (WNP) - an overview
Please get involved or contribute to the neighbourhood plan.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or send post to WNP Steering Group, 29 College Street, Wollaston, NN29 7SF.
What is it?
The Localism Act 2011 introduced the right for parishes like Wollaston to decide the future of their community by producing a neighbourhood plan that will cover key aspects of the development of the village and wider parish. It will enable those who know and care about Wollaston to plan for its future development. It is not about stopping growth but it is about making sure the right things are built in the right places. It can help deliver homes, jobs, and services while at the same time protecting and improving the best of the village and its environment.
Why does it matter?
In theory the planning system was always supposed to give local communities a say in decisions that affected them but in practice it was often found to be difficult to have a meaningful say. The Localism Act has given some planning powers back to the people who are affected by it.
While neighbourhood planning is optional rather than compulsory, we in Wollaston are determined to take this opportunity to have a greater influence over our own future. When a major expansion of our part of Northamptonshire was planned in 2006, a substantial landowner around the village tried very hard to influence the plans so that there would have been a significant increase in the size of the village. Fortunately, after a great deal of hard work, the Parish Council was able to convince the planners to stick to their original plans. The Localism Act gives us more influence.
The purpose of neighbourhood planning is to influence the extent of development within the village and wider Parish. Put simply, we aim to ensure that Wollaston remains a village. This is in line with the Parish Council’s ‘Mission Statement’ which is to enhance and protect the quality of life of the residents of the village and to ensure Wollaston retains the attributes and facilities that make it such a desirable village in which to live.
How will it work?
1. Getting started - set up the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group; define the Neighbourhood Area; and prepare a programme of work.
2. Identifying the issues - consult the community to find out what people like and dislike about Wollaston and if there are things that the Parish doesn't have and which the community would like to see if possible.
3. Develop a vision and objectives - prepare and consult on a long term vision that sets out a broad picture of the community's aspirations for the future of Wollaston and a list of objectives that set out what must be done in order to achieve the vision.
4. Generate options - draw up and consult on a list of realistic and achievable options to decide which ones are preferred by the community and are most likely to achieve the objectives of the Plan.
5. Draft the Neighbourhood Plan - prepare the Draft Plan. This will set out the options to be pursued. It will include planning policies which explain the key components of development or use of land that the Plan will support and the criteria that will be used to decide whether a proposal is likely to be acceptable or not.
6. Consultation and submission - consult the local community and other parties and analyse the responses. Once appropriate changes have been made the Plan will be submitted to the Borough Council who will ensure that it complies with legal requirements and invite further comments to be considered by the person undertaking the examination.
7. Independent examination - the Plan will be checked by an independent examiner to ensure it meets the correct standards. If it does not, the examiner has the authority to recommend changes or outline concerns that need to be addressed before the Plan can proceed to a referendum.
8. Referendum and adoption - once the examiner has passed the Plan, the Borough Council is required to hold a referendum in the Parish so that the community has the final say on whether it comes into force or not. All those on the Electroral Roll will be entitled to vote. If more than 50% of those voting support the Plan, the Borough Council must bring it into force. Once the Plan has been adopted it will form part of the Development Plan. This means that the Borough Council must determine planning applications in accordance with the Neighbourhood Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
Image of 'How it will work'
Where are we now?
Stages 1 and 2 (see above) are now (December 2012) complete. In order to find out what the community likes and dislikes about Wollaston and wants to see improved, the Steering Group has had several articles published in the local magazine (Wollaston and Strixton News and Views); held a Launch Event; undertaken a housing needs survey in conjunction with the Borough Council; held an event for the business community; met with several older persons’ groups; and issued a questionnaire to several young persons’ groups.
You can contact the Steering Group either by:
post: WNP Steering Group, 29 College Street, Wollaston, NN29 7SF.
Related PagesNeighbourhood planning inventory and consultation
Wollaston's neighbourhood planning inventory and consultation
Published: Sunday, 20th May 2012Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Wollaston Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Published: Wednesday, 21st November 2012