Neighbourhood Plan Update and Questionnaire
The creation of a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) for the Parish was initiated by Westwood Parish Council which delegated the process of drafting a plan to the Parishioners of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (NPSG).
Westwood Parish Council (WPC) would like to thank the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (NPSG) and other members of the community that have contributed to the creation of the Neighbourhood Plan. It is an impressive document and, in excess of one hundred pages and containing some exciting ideas for the Parish - WPC would like to keep as much of this good work as possible and plans to publish a draft soon.
It is clear that we all care deeply about the village and its future – parishioners’ attendance at WPC meetings is testament to this. In order that we reflect Parishioners’ wishes as accurately as possible and mindful that the most sensitive issues are normally (but not exclusively) planning-related; WPC seeks your response to the following questionnaire as a basis for inclusion of the relevant policies in our Neighbourhood plan: (Please return the paper copy of your questionnaire to the Parish Rooms by Friday March 29th 2019.)
The NP will last a decade – we have the power to change it and WPC sees it as a strategic document that can protect and shape the Parish of Avoncliff, Iford and Westwood on an intergenerational timescale. On behalf of the community, Westwood Parish Council would like to thank the NPSG for their work and the draft document, a number of proposals have arisen from the process and it is these details we are now consulting upon. You may find some of them contentious and they may cause you to object to them / or agree with them strongly – this is the point of the consultation!
WPC is mindful of the: ‘golden thread of sustainable development’ – which is the high-level policy requirement upon planning authorities and the guiding principle that we look to – it is also open to interpretation and permits, in certain circumstances, the NP to place restrictions upon planning within the Parish. How we choose to implement such a policy in our plan is therefore a question of judgment and balance – protecting what makes the parish a unique and wonderful place to live, at the same time not ‘setting it in aspic’ unable to adapt to the modern world.
Why are we asking for your views on these issues / What is neighbourhood planning?
The draft plan will not please everybody and we may not share the same appreciation of what is valuable in the community as our neighbour. Therefore, before we lose or, adapt an element of the village that others might appreciate; Westwood Parish Council wants your views on specific proposals that arose from the work of the NPSG. In the context of what a NP can do:-
“Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to ensure that they get the right types of development for their community where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area.”
The Neighbourhood Plan sits within a hierarchy under the Local Plan which, in turn, sits ultimately under the policies of the National Planning Policy Framework “At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan-making and decision-taking.” The three dimensions to sustainable development are: economic, social and environmental.
This requires local planning authorities to positively seek opportunities to meet the development needs of their area and they should meet objectively assessed needs, with sufficient flexibility to adapt to rapid change, unless:
1. any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole or
2. specific policies in this Framework indicate development should be restricted - For example, those policies relating to sites protected under the Birds and Habitats Directives (see paragraph 119) and/or designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest; land designated as Green Belt, Local Green Space, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast or within a National Park (or the Broads Authority); designated heritage assets; and locations at risk of flooding or coastal erosion.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What is brownfield site / land ?
Previously developed land has the same meaning as land of that description in Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework. Previously developed land is referred to as brownfield land.
What is Social and Affordable housing ?
Affordable housing is social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. From April 2012 affordable housing is defined in the National Planning Policy Framework (prior to this the definitions in Planning Policy Statement 3 apply).
What is a Settlement Boundary ?
Article published: 31 Jan 2019