Important Announcement on the forthcoming Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Referendum 28th Sept
Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan has now passed Independent Examination. All of the recommendations made by the Examiner have been accepted by the Steering Group, Town Council, and Northumberland County Council. Preparations are now being made for a local Referendum.
During the next few weeks, if you are on the electoral role, you will receive a polling card for voting at the Referendum which will be held on 28th Sept 2017.
This is rather like an election. However, instead of voting for a person you vote either YES or NO as to whether you think the 32 planning policies in the Neighbourhood Plan should be used by Northumberland County Council to help decide planning applications in Ponteland parish.
You can vote at your local Polling Station between 7am to 10pm on the 28th September or arrange for a postal vote which must be returned to the County Council by 28th September 2017.
This referendum it is the community’s opportunity to decide whether they support the Neighbourhood Plan which would then be used to influence future planning decisions.
Why a Neighbourhood Plan?
The Neighbourhood Plan has been prepared by a volunteer steering group on behalf of Ponteland Town Council. The Plan has 32 policies promoting:
- Sustainable Development Principles,
- Protection of our Built Heritage
- Protection of the Natural Environment,
- Growth of the Local Economy,
- A mix of housing to meet local needs ,
- Community well-being,
- Flooding and sustainable drainage,
- Transport and movement.
What happens without a Neighbourhood Plan?
If more people vote No, than Yes, then planning applications will continue to be decided without using Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan.
Where can I view the Ponteland Plan?
You can view the Referendum Version of the Plan on the County Council’s website at: www.northumberland.gov.uk/ourplan
Or, a copy of the Plan can be viewed at:
Ponteland Town Council Office, Meadowfield Court, Meadowfield Industrial Estate during opening hours Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 12.30pm
Or further information can be obtained by telephone on 01661 825092 Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 12.30pm
Please watch out for the polling cards
and make a note of the date.
Voting day 28th September 2017
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
Following the end of the consultation period, after December 16th 2016, we have reviewed the responses received and identified changes needed to be made to the draft Plan and its evidence base.
The current timetables for the next stages of the Plan are expected to be:
- Plan Submission to NCC for Examination – expected Feb/March 2017;
- Consultation on the Submission Plan –expected Spring 2017;
- Examination of the Plan by an Independent Examiner –expected Spring/ Summer 2017;
- Referendum –expected Autumn 2017;
- Neighbourhood Plan ‘made’ by NCC –expected Autumn 2017.