Ponteland’s Neighbourhood Planning Group chairman is one of the 80 champions with the pledge:
To inspire, inform and encourage by supporting, sharing experiences and being a critical friend to other local groups.
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The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group is now waiting for the analysis of the Housing Need Survey completed by the 14th April 2016.
Due to a massive return of surveys and online responses there has been a delay in data entry, the group sees this as a positive position to be in, no one thought the community would support us in this way.
The results will be published in the Pont News & Views as soon as possible.
Also the Revised Vision, Objectives & Policy Options Questionnaire has started the same analysis process and due to the previous level of responses will be slightly delayed.
Thanks to all the residents who have assisted by filling out both the Housing Need Survey during February-March and the Revised Vision, Objectives & Policy Options Questionnaire.
What happens after that?
Our Planning Consultant will review all our evidence which has been the basis of our neighbourhood plan, the process which we have followed and all the consultations we have conducted since the later part of 2012. This will include these 2 recent Community Consultations, a Stakeholders Consultation held at the end of last year, comments from Northumberland County Council and all statutory bodies who have been invited to comment.
What it can’t do?
A neighbourhood plan can’t set standards for issues such as greenbelt boundaries, housing numbers, or highway matters.
What does that still leave to be achieved?
Identify other work to be accomplished for a robust plan
Proceed in consultation for 6 weeks with the local community, stakeholders and statutory consultees.
Submit to Northumberland County Council, consultation period of 6 weeks.
If approved an independent examiner is appointed to check for soundness
If approved the plan will go to a local referendum
If approved the completed plan becomes part of the statutory development plan for the area.
Neighbourhood planning is a way of communities being actively involved with the future development of their local area.
Giving local communities the opportunity to plan their designated area, by writing their own development plans. This gives more power to communities by being involved at a local level in planning, getting the right kind of development in the right place and voted on by a community referendum.
This will enable those who live and work in a designated area the right to choose where they want new homes, offices and shops to be built and what they should look like.
Why does neighbourhood planning matter?
The local planning system helps to decide what gets built, when and where. This process is vital for economic growth whilst protecting the natural environment and improving the communities quality of life. It encourages the right kind of development in the right location.
Through the Localism Act 2011 the Government has given communities the choice to be involved in local planning by giving the power back to local people, businesses and councils.
Your plan must be in conformity with Strategic Planning Policy.
What is the background?
The Localism Act 2011 provided a new statutory regime for neighbourhood planning introduced through the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012 which provide the legal framework within which neighbourhood plans must comply?
What it can’t do?
Neighbourhood Plans cannot decide on Greenbelt boundaries, or housing numbers; most highway matters and quality of roads. These are matters for the Local Planning Authority, Northumberland County Council.
How does it work?
- Simply there are 5 basic stages in the process
- Identify the plan area
- Preparing the plan
- Independent examination
- Community Referendum
- Legal Status
How long can this take?
The process can take between 2-4 years
What has Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group achieved?
A lot, for the past 3 years the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, made up of local volunteers has worked on behalf of the Town Council preparing a Neighbourhood Plan.
During this time the group have followed a process to ensure the Plan reflects what the community in Ponteland want. Work done so far has been:
- Extensive initial consultation with the local community
- Identifying the scope of the plan
- Creating a vision for the future of Ponteland, with objectives to achieve this vision
- Collecting of appropriate evidence to inform progress
- Consulting with the community, stakeholders and other statutory consultees.
- Analysing comments and using these to inform the content of the Plan
- Preparing draft Topic Papers, covering areas such as Transport, Community Well Being, Natural Environment and others, which outline Planning Policy Areas and identify Community Projects to be delivered throughout the Plan period
What is still to achieve to complete the process on the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan
- Consult on the Policy Areas identified so far. This consultation will take place with the local community, stakeholders and other statutory consultees
- Following this consultation, we will finalise our policy areas, and write a draft plan, with planning policies. We will consult again on this plan with the local community for 6 weeks. This is the first statutory consultation stage in the process.
- We will then amend the plan depending on consultation responses, and submit it to Northumberland County Council who also have to carry out a statutory consultation on the plan for a period of 6 weeks
- An independent examiner is appointed by the County Council to check that Basic Conditions have been met
- If approved, the plan will go to a local referendum.
- If approved, the completed plan becomes part of the statutory development plan for the area. This means that all planning decisions in Ponteland will be determined in accordance with the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan.
What we have to consider?
Ponteland Town Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group have concerns over housing numbers and Green Belt deletions proposed in the NCC Pre-Submission Draft Core Strategy document, which is now out to consultation.
As we are required, by law, to produce a Neighbourhood Plan that is in line with the County Core Strategy, we are in a difficult position.
We don’t want to abandon our Plan, as without one, we will not have the level of influence over local planning policy that we would like to have.
The Steering Group have thought long and hard over this and realise that as the issues on housing numbers and deletion of Greenbelt are the main concerns of the community, these matters can’t be resolved until the Core Strategy is adopted, which could be the summer 2016.
The decision of the Ponteland Neighbourhood Steering Group is therefore to continue with the outstanding work on rural businesses surveys, review all of the topic evidence, standardise all the documents and review the website whilst this final NCC consultation is taking place. This will then leave us in a position to continue with producing a neighbourhood plan once the Core Strategy has been adopted.