Since April 2012, local communities have been able to produce Neighbourhood Plans for their local area, putting in place planning policies for the future development and growth of the neighbourhood.
A Neighbourhood Plan may contain a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development.
Neighbourhood Plans relate to the use and development of land and associated social, economic and environmental issues. They may deal with a wide range of issues (like housing, employment, heritage and transport) or may focus on one or two issues that are of particular importance in a local area.
A Neighbourhood Plan will be subject to examination and referendum and then form part of the Local Development Plan. This statutory status gives Neighbourhood Plans far more weight than some other local planning documents, such as parish plans, community plans and village design statements. In other words, they have to be considered by the planning authority in making decisions that affect Oxenhope, a topic that has on occasion been a little controversial locally.
Making the Decision to Prepare a Neighbourhood Plan
Developing a Neighbourhood Plan can represent a serious commitment and in considering whether to proceed the Parish Council needs to carefully weigh the opportunities against the time and cost implications and come to a balanced view.
Whilst there is some budget available nationally, and the local authority (Bradford MDC) has a duty to support, developing a Neighbourhood Plan can still be an involved process.
For these reasons the Parish Council is keen to gauge opinion from an early stage. We want to know if the community consider this to be worthwhile for Oxenhope and if there is sufficient enthusiasm in becoming involved with the plan making process. This isn’t something the Parish Council can or should do alone. If there is to be a Neighbourhood Plan for Oxenhope the community needs to contribute to its formation and to own the final plan.
To let us know what you think, please complete a short online survey here.
For more information on what’s involved in Neighbourhood Planning, a detailed Roadmap Guide is available to download here.