Neighbourhood Plan – Questionnaire
The Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire is now ready. A group off volunteers will be sending an envelope with two questionnaires to every household in the parish. The questionnaire is not a household one but a personal one, we would like to receive as many comments from everyone 16 or over. Should you require an additional copy you can get it here NP Questionnaire. Please complete and have available for collection by our group of volunteers from 23rd June.
If you have any questions concerning the neighbourhood plan please speak to any one of the parish councillors, their contact details are on the parish council section of the website. Alternatively take a look at a list of Frequently Asked Questions set out here FAQs Neighbourhood Plan June 15
Neighbourhood Plan – Public meeting
We properly got the ball rolling on the development of our Neighbourhood Plan with a crowded public meeting in mid-March. The turnout was fantastic. We were able to introduce our specialist Neighbourhood Planning consultant Neil Homer, set out the way we need to put our plan together, and to highlight the importance of the upcoming questionnaire.
After a delay caused by the snowstorm, we finally had our start-up meeting for the Neighbourhood Plan process in mid-March. This meeting was a triumph. A total of 69 people came along, including Neil Homer, our specialist Neighbourhood Plan consultant, and Dianne Webber, the Milton Keynes Council Neighbourhood Planning specialist. Having 69 people along to the first meeting was a fantastic turnout.
Moving towards our plan
The March meeting was important in confirming that Neighbourhood Plans are legally required to be developed within a well established framework. We don’t have complete freedom on deciding what we as a community would like to do. We need to use the planning framework that MK Council uses, and then consider what’s important for us, as a community. When we’ve done that we will put those considerations into our plan of what we would consider to be acceptable.
At the meeting we focussed on some of the key considerations that typically get taken into account in parishes such as ours, and that have important ramifications for planning. These were:
- Our rural location
- Local services
- Landscape character
- Local nature reserves
- The importance of the River Ouse as natural barrier
In addition, we recognised that in developing a Neighbourhood Plan, we created opportunities for the community. The ones which immediately spring to mind are:
- New homes to meet local needs
- The possibility of a new community facility
- Investment in traffic management
- High quality design in any new housing and other buildings
- Protection of the rural part of the parish
- Relationship between the different communities (Little Linford, the Old and New Villages)
Neil Homer, whose consultancy company has experience of developing over 100 Neighbourhood Plans, suggested that the typical objectives he had encountered for communities like ours were
- Preserving heritage
- Protecting sensitive landscapes
- Maintaining or increasing biodiversity
- Protecting the characteristics of the current settlements
- Managing traffic
- Preserving or enhancing community facilities
On the evening each of these topics were described by and presented by members of the Parish Council, with particular focus on what they mean to us, locally, in Haversham and Little Linford. Each topic was followed by a discussion of the issues they raised, and how they impacted one on the other. Each discussion was triggered by some questions. These were:
How important is it that any new development avoids harming our listed buildings and other heritage assets?
Is there any derelict or unkempt land that could be improved by new development?
How important is it that any new development avoids the most sensitive landscape areas?
How important is it that any new development avoids areas of biodiversity interest?
How important is it to preserve the individual characteristics of the settlements in the parish?
How important is it that any new development avoids making existing traffic problems worse?
Are traffic management measures necessary and possible?
How important is it that we have a new community facility?
What factors should determine the best location for it?
How important is it going to be to use development funding (S106 funds) to pay for new facilities?
The discussions were exceptionally helpful in our first steps in ranking what are the most important considerations for us all. They also helped us think about our next steps, of which the most pressing is a Parish wide questionnaire.
The Next Thing – A Parish Wide Questionnaire
The next step is to use the thoughts from the open meeting to help shape a questionnaire which will go to everyone in the community. Please note that we are asking for the questionnaire to be filled in by every person over 16 in the community, so if any household needs more copies than are delivered, extra copies will be available electronically.
This is your say
This really is your moment to have your say. We will be using the results from the questionnaire to shape our plan. There will be consultation moments along the way but our main priorities will be set by these outcomes. This is your moment – please take time to say what your priorities are for the whole community. This process will shape our community for the next generation so get involved.
The Parish Council