Neighbourhood Plan

“Shaping Collyweston” now has its own website, Facebook page, Twitter account, email address and Mailchimp account. All of that cost nothing except a few hours of volunteer time. 160704 website screengrab-page-001

The process of bringing people’s ideas together and sorting out what actually goes into the Plan will cost money though – venue hire, leaflets to be printed and delivered, posters, events, surveys – and these are met by a government grant which comes through an organisation called Locality, in
6-monthly instalments.

Your humble NP gopher is now manfully (womanfully?) applying for that, and she has less than 2 weeks to get it costed and completed! Feel her pain…

4th July 2016                Fiona Cowan


Now we have officially got the go-ahead. East Northants Council did gently suggest we consider combining our Neighbourhood Plan with Duddington, which has just now applied for its ‘designated area’. However, the parish council feels that we’d be better going it alone.

Collyweston’s steering group chairman, Fiona Cowan, has had a meeting with the chair of Easton on the Hill’s plan steering group – they haven’t yet decided whether to have a Neighbourhood Plan or a Parish Plan – and both chairmen agreed that the issues faced by both villages are sufficiently different that joining forces would not be helpful. However they will keep in touch with each other as the process works through, and may even hold a joint event at some future date, so we can all see how the 3 Plans (Colly, Duddy, Easton) are doing.

The chairman’s next task is to apply for the government grant that will cover the expenses incurred by all the consultations that need to be done – such as printing, display materials, venue hire.

June 2016

We have been unofficially given the green light to start work on a Neighbourhood Plan for the area inside the existing parish boundary. We’ve also had 4 responses from statutory consultees, all of them positive, and 3 of which give helpful suggestions of subjects that Collyweston should consider covering within the Plan. This is great news.

“With reference to the Collyweston Neighbourhood Area designation, 4 representations were received during the consultation period (closing date yesterday, 25 April); from Anglian Water, the Environment Agency, Historic England and Natural England (copies attached).

Of these, none objected to the proposed designation, although the representations contain helpful advice and guidance that should be taken into account when preparing the Neighbourhood Plan.  We will confirm once the Collyweston Neighbourhood Area has formally been designated; within the next week or so.”

26th April 2016

Neighbourhood Planning  

                                    (from the Rural Services Network website)

A successful neighbourhood plan must be based on evidence and an understanding of the place they relate to. Communities need to gather a range of evidence and local knowledge before writing their plan. We have collated a selection of evidence, which may be useful to communities in starting to shape their evidence base.

Click here to view your individual local authority neighbourhood planning page

Are you interested in shaping your local area?  Do you want to help decide where new homes, shops and other facilities should go and what they could look like?

Getting involved in neighbourhood planning can be very rewarding and there is a range of help and assistance available to you.

The Localism Act, which received Royal Assent on November 15 2011, introduced new rights and powers to allow local communities to shape new development by coming together to prepare neighbourhood plans.

Neighbourhood Planning can be taken forward by two types of body, town or parish councils, and ‘neighbourhood forums’ for areas without parishes.

Local authorities will continue to produce Local Plans (or Core Strategies) to set the strategic context within which neighbourhood plans will sit, however neighbourhood plans can contain detailed policies to guide local authority decisions about planning applications.

There is a process which must be followed before a neighbourhood plan can be put to a community referendum and legally come into force.  Moreover, it must take account of national planning policy and it must align with strategic policies in the Local Plan or Core Strategy.

The basic stages in developing a neighbourhood plan are:
1.    Set up a neighbourhood planning group and have the plan area designated
2.    Collect evidence about your area and gather local views about priority issues
3.    Identify which issues you want to produce policies for
4.    Write a draft neighbourhood plan for your area
5.    Formally consult local residents and other interested parties with the draft
6.    Submit a final version of the plan to your local authority for its examination and then a referendum

First Steps…

In the first instance, contact your local authority’s Strategic Planning team.  They will be able to provide you with information about the requirements for putting your plan together.  They can also help you to understand all of the development and planning issues that may affect your plan.
The plan must be based on a robust evidence base which has considered a broad range of social, economic and environmental data and information, to ensure that it is sound and is accepted at examination.

A wide range of evidence may already be available for you to consider, for example:

•    The evidence base that your local authority produced for its Local Plan or Core Strategy.
•    Previous work you have done for a Parish or Town Plan
•    SHLAA (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment) from the local authority
•    Information on listed buildings from English Heritage
•    Information on rivers and flood risk from the Environment Agency
•    Where you are in a National Park or an AONB, plans and information for those areas (note that National Park Authorities produce their own Local Plans)
•    Environmental Management Plans

You may wish to conduct a survey of local residents to gather their views about issues and priorities.  Some communities may also wish to undertake a local housing needs assessment, to identify what types of homes are needed and demand for affordable housing.

Click here to view your individual local authority neighbourhood planning page

There are a number of websites and organisations who can provide you with assistance in this process and point you towards funding possibilities to support you on your journey:
(Govt guidance on giving communities more power)
Town and Country Planning Association guidance on Neighbourhood Planning

To view the ‘Notes on Neighbourhood Planning’ newsletters produced by DCLG – click here                                               23rd March 2016


We’re ready to get this project started

On Thursday 11th February, Councillor Fiona Cowan (leading the Neighbourhood Plan project) formally proposed that the council goes all-out to call for people to join the Project Group described below. They won’t have to ‘do all the work’ but they will make sure that the project doesn’t wander off-track or fail to take account of all opinions, including those that may not agree with group members’ own views.

The Parish Council must lead (and ultimately be responsible for) the Neighbourhood Plan. But the steering group that organises and manages the work should also involve non-councillors. The ideal size of the core group is 5-10 people, although individuals and groups may come and go as required, depending on what needs doing at any stage. (Source: Campaign to Protect Rural England)

If the initial call for volunteers is unsuccessful, the Parish Council would have to kick-start the Plan itself and continue seeking additional members until it becomes viable as a stand-alone group, which would then report back to the Council at its monthly meeting.

Look forward to a massive campaign to find willing and interested people to give this a go. Because frankly, the people of Collyweston know better than anyone what matters to the people of Collyweston. So let’s find out what matters to them, shall we?
                                                                                            4th February 2016, updated 27th April

Can you do better than the planners? 150817 Collyweston oldmap

You don’t need to have ever been a parish councillor to know that the Planning system doesn’t always seem to work in the best interests of Collyweston. And now, with the government having swept away most of the detailed policies and guidance that used to give some protection from ‘bad development’, there is a danger that Collyweston and the surrounding area could find itself having to live with poor design, road congestion, buildings in the wrong place and unpleasant surroundings.

The parish council firmly believes that YOU are the people best placed to decide what is built in your village… and you are:

  • People who live in Collyweston
  • People who work in Collyweston
  • People who employ people in Collyweston.

So, work is about to start on a Neighbourhood Plan. The idea is, to find out exactly what residents, workers, developers, landowners – and anyone else with an interest in Collyweston – thinks should be allowed to flourish, and what needs to be safeguarded for the future.

Once the Plan is agreed, and has been passed by a Public Inspector, and confirmed by a local Referendum, it will be adopted by East Northants Council and will be the most important factor they use when planning decisions are made.

Best of all, the overhead costs of this exercise will be met by government funding. So, all it should cost the village is the time it takes to check whether we’re all in favour of the way it’s going. If you want to get more directly involved, you can.

Look out for more information in the monthly magazine Colly News, on this website, on notice boards, and through your letter box.             September 14th 2015