Neighbourhood Plan Update
Neighbourhood planning is a right for communities introduced through the Localism Act 2011, to shape development in their areas through the production of Neighbourhood Development Plan. Neighbourhood Development Plans become part of the Local Plan and the policies contained within them are then used in the determination of planning applications.
However, a neighbourhood plan is a significant opportunity for members of a community to shape its future by developing policies, which reflect the priorities of the area. The plan has legal status and must be taken into account by a local council when making decisions which will impact on the development of an area.
Chelford Parish Council, like a growing number of parish and town councils in Cheshire East, took the decision some time ago to begin the process of producing its own plan. The decision was in some part due to the growing pressures the parish faces from developers, but also because it was an opportunity for Chelford residents to have a real say in how they wanted the parish to develop over the next decade or more.
The first stage of the process was to achieve designation of the neighbourhood area and having gone through a process of consultation with Cheshire East, the area was officially defined as all the land contained within the current parish boundaries. The next stage was to form an advisory group or steering group to represent the Parish Council in the planning process.
We now have a group of 8 residents who have formed such a group. The Group members have a range of relevant skills and knowledge including project management, commercial property development and property consultancy. Parish Councillors are also represented on the Group.
A number of meetings have taken place and the Group is receiving consultancy support from Cheshire Community Action and also support from the Cheshire East Neighbourhood Planning Team. A bid for central government funds to support the planning process has recently been successful.
We are now beginning to plan how best to begin the consultation process with residents and businesses. Initially this will be in the form of an initial questionnaire to identify key priorities and policies and then a more detailed questionnaire will be distributed for completion. Meetings with residents will also be held to elicit their views and to update on progress.
As the planning process proceeds, working groups will be set up to consider individual priorities in detail and help will needed. We want as many residents as possible to be involved in the planning and we are looking for more volunteers to help us. If you want to be a part of the future of Chelford come and join us. You do not need to have any background or knowledge in planning or property--some members of the Group are from education, road haulage and engineering.
Please contact David Wilson, Chair of the Parish Council (contact details on the Chelford website) and give it a go--be a part of the future Chelford.