Another week goes by and, before you know it, it’s the start of a new month. The Forum is now engrossed in drafting up policies for our Area so you’ll start to notice more and more updates about this key element of our work over the next couple of months. But for now, let me finish a task started last week.
- Local Plan Part 2: the review (part 2)
- I mentioned last week that we were pleased with the council’s response to the representations we submitted last week regarding policies about the Barracks site and HS2 site.
- This week I’ll finish with a summary of the remaining representations we submitted regarding other, generic, policies.
- Policy 17: Place-making, design and amenity. An unwieldy name but it covers the overall amenities of a development such as safe streets, good access to public transport etc. We asked for this section to specifically include good design for walking and cycling and we are very pleased to see it has been adopted.
- Policy 23: Proposals affecting designated assets. The original version mentioned that the council would seek to work with ‘established civic societies’. We asked to broaden it out to include neighbourhood forums as well. Again, we are pleased to report our suggestion was adopted as it now references ‘established voluntary groups including Civic and Local History Societies’.
- Policy 26: Travel Plans. The council have also incorporated our suggestion that travel plans will be expected to include ‘how developments will encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport’.
- It wasn’t all positive news. The council decided not to adopt our suggestions to: a) include all-weather sports pitches within policy 25 Sports & Tourism; b) to specify the width of green corridors (50 metres we advised) within policy 28 Green Infrastructure. There were a couple of other minor suggestions we made that didn’t get included, but these were more of a ‘could’ rather than ‘should’ adopt so we’re not too surprised they were left out.
- Overall, we are very pleased to see the Forum’s representations were all considered, with the most significant ones being adopted. This demonstrates that the council takes the Forum seriously. And that is down to your support and your input to the consultations we host.
So, a big ‘THANK YOU’ from the Steering Group for your ongoing support!
- Funding applications – an update
- I reported a while ago that we had applied for a grant to the lottery programme ‘Awards for All’. Unfortunately, we heard a couple of weeks ago that we were turned down, due to including an element to fund our own traffic survey of the Area.
- They felt this element was more appropriately carried by a statutory authority – either the Borough or County Council.
- Despite this, they advised us to resubmit and focus more on community engagement, so that is what we are doing. We want to undertake some ‘micro-consultations’ where we target a specific set of streets in a key area. Such as those roads in Toton closest to the proposed HS2 station, or Stapleford Lane residents that back onto the Barracks, where proposed development of new houses will likely start. We think it important to engage directly with residents in key areas to get their views on development that will take place next to them. More news on this application in due course.
- Neighbourhood Plan – revised timetable
- The Steering Group spent some time at our last meeting discussing our overall schedule to produce our Plan.
- We are now aiming to complete the drafting of policies ideally by the end of September (ambitious) but no later than end of October
- We will be asking you to review some/all of these policies before they are included in our draft Plan which we intend to complete by Christmas.
- Early in the New Year (we are targeting our AGM) we plan launch the Plan for formal consultation with residents before undertaking final revisions and submission to the council before Easter 2019.
- We then expect the process to take a further 3 or 4 months for the council’s formal review & examination before finally being presented to all residents in our Area to vote on in a referendum.
- Based on this timeline, it will be another 12 months before our Plan is formally adopted as an authorised document. It sounds a long time but in planning terms, this is a relatively fast process. So, to coin a phrase, we all need to ‘keep on keeping on…’
- And finally….
- ….well, unusually for me, I don’t think I have any more updates this week. Nothing that can’t wait for another time anyway.
So, I’ll see you all next time around – that is, next week!