The Neighbourhood Plan Strategy
4.2 Having established the vision, the task was then to construct a strategy to deliver it. The Neighbourhood Plan Strategy needed an understanding of what sustainable development for the whole Community meant, what the issues were and what range of policies would be required.
So what ideals should the Neighbourhood Plan Strategy embrace?
4.3 The Government’s guidance on Neighbourhood Planning is that a Neighbourhood Plan must ‘support Sustainable Development and is about positive growth - making economic, environmental and social progress for our generation and those in the future.’ These elements can be described as follows:
Economic - contributing to building a strong, responsive and competitive economy
Environmental - contributing to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment.
Social - supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities.
To achieve this, in development terms, a thoughtful and integrated approach is required with landowners and developers taking a continuous interest in the future of the Parish Community. This is the approach taken in the Plan and on the basis of this, the Parish will look to engage positively with landowners and the statutory planning process to guide future development.
4.4 Those living in the Parish appreciate the special qualities we have. It is a fantastic place to live and in accommodating any future development, be that housing or economic growth, it is vital that these qualities are not lost. We appreciate that people will want to come and live here and that this is important to maintaining a vibrant community.
4.5 This Plan is not anti-development; it is, after all, the population of the Parish that supports the services on offer. If people don't use local shops and services, they will cease to operate. If young families are driven out through high housing costs, local schools will shut. If people choose not to use local public transport, it will become too expensive to provide. We understand that we must adapt to remain a sustainable community. Our objective, therefore, is to enable the provision of a choice of new homes and services to meet all sections of the community in a manner which respects the character of the Parish while maintaining the facilities only which we depend.
4.6 For residential development, Building for Life is the industry standard quality assessment endorsed by Government (Building for Life Partnership 2012). It provides a 12 point criteria against which it is possible to measure any new development. Proposals are scored on a 'traffic light' system - Red (unacceptable and not of planning approval quality), Amber (partial success with room for improvement or mitigating circumstances) and Green (excellent / exemplary). An explanation of how we will encourage developers to use this is shown at Annex J of the 'Download' section.
4.7 Given the strong desire to maintain strong community life within villages where it currently exists and improve it where it is less well developed, the Plan's focus is on sustainability and supporting community facilities. Like many rural communities, the average age of the Parish's residents is increasing. Evidence from the questionnaire and housing day indicates that many older residents would wish to 'down-size' but cannot find suitable housing within the Parish. Given the Parish demographic, it is largely the retired community who run and support much of the life of the community (clubs, associations, societies etc). Providing suitable accommodation to retain these enthusiastic local people will be an important part of the housing strategy.
4.8 Housing growth is to be accommodated in a sensitive way and a strategy for housing growth is explained later in this document. This is primarily based on modest scale development within, or close to, villages with active community facilities to-gether with windfall development in, or close to, existing housing. Significant development elsewhere will not be supported unless (or until) suitable community infrastructure is in place to support an increase in residential occupancy.
4.9 A number of small scaled developments can be accommodated within the Parish and could supply new affordable housing, opportunities to new and existing residents and meet the needs expressed in both WDBC's and DNPA's Development Plans.
4.10 Economic development will be supported where it offers local employment opportunities and services in keeping with the nature of the Parish. Efforts by local businesses to encourage their own long term sustainability will also be supported.
4.11 Historic and environmental sites of special local interest will be protected as will outdoor facilities such as those which promote walking and cycling.
4.12 The Neighbourhood Plan need to be in ‘conformity’ with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Local Authority Policies (which themselves need to be in conformity with the NPPF) but can be tailored to take account of local issues as not all the parts of the NPPF will necessarily be relevant to our Neighbourhood Plan, nor can we set out to change areas not within the remit of a Neighbourhood Plan.
4.13 So the Plan’s Strategy is set out in the 10 ‘Strategic Aims’ (below) which took the NPPF aims together with our Issues so that policies could then be developed which would, if implemented, deliver the benefits sought by the Neighbourhood Plan.
The acid ‘test’ we have applied is to ask if the Strategic Aims below are delivered through the Policies we have established, will our Vision for the Neighbourhood Plan will be achieved.
5. The 10 Strategic Aims
5.1 These Strategic Aims are:
SA1 to deliver a prosperous & high quality of life for residents
SA2 to support the local economy
SA3 to deliver sustainable development to meet local needs
SA4 to have a positive effect on the environment
SA5 to maintain the natural environment & biodiversity
SA6 to deliver a housing growth strategy
SA7 to maintain local character
SA8 to Sustain community life
SA9 to Improve services
SA10 to involve local people
The table below shows the relationship between the Strategic Aims and the Policies established to achieve them.
|Strategic Aims||Relevant Policies|
|SA1 - Prosperous & high quality of life for residents||
|SA2 - Support the local economy||ED1/ED2/ED3/ED4/SA3|
|SA3 - Sustainable development to meet local needs||RD1 - RD5, SA4|
|SA4 - Positive effect on the environment||E3/E4|
|SA5 - Maintain natural environment & biodiversity||E1/E2|
|SA6 - Deliver the stated housing growth strategy||RD1/RD3/RD4/RD5|
|SA7 - Maintain local character||RD2/RD5|
|SA8 - Sustain community life||RD1|
|SA9 - Improve services||S1/S3/ED2|
|SA10 - Involve local people||See note 1|
Note 1. The Parish Council will be the guardians of the Plan once it is approved ('made') and regularly review the Plan taking into account comments and suggestions from residents. Once a year the Council will publish a performance review explaining what progress has been made implementing the Plan's policies.