Ashley Neighbourhood Plan
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
At its very simplest, a neighbourhood plan will allow you, as Ashley residents, to decide where new houses can be built, what type of housing is required, what it should look like, and what infrastructure is needed to support any development.
It is inevitable that, at some stage in the future, there will be development in Ashley and, although a neighbourhood plan cannot prevent development, it can determine where new developments can take place and what those delevopments should look like
Once there is a neighbourhood plan in place it becomes part of the statutory development plan and the local planning authority has to take it into consideration when making decisions on planning applications in the area
Creating a Neighbourhood Plan
There are a number of stages in the creation of a neighbourhood plan which can take up to two years to complete. The information provided below is a very brief overview of the steps required in creating the plan. More detailed information will be added as each stage of the plan progresses
- Form a working party comprising one or two Councillors and three to four residents.
- Decide on the area of the neighbourhood plan (which is usually the Parish boundary)
- Apply to Cheshire East to designate Ashley as a neighbourhood planning area
- Create a vision statement which encompasses how Ashley wants its community to develop over the next ten to twenty years which meets local needs and also has meaning to local people
Involve the Community
A neighbourhood plan cannot succeed without the involvement of, and input from, the community. Knowledge and opinions from the community are essential components in the formation of the neighbourhood plan. Apart from the initial set-up stage the wider community should be:
- kept fully informed of the progress of the plan at all stages
- able to make its views known at any stage during the plan's formation
- given the opportunity and encouraged to become actively involved in formation of the plan
Create the Plan
Eventually a document which contains Ashley's neighbourhood plan will be produced and submitted to Cheshire East for approval or otherwise. However, this simple statement belies a wealth of steps that have to be completed before reaching this point. For this reason, and until the working party has been set up and is actively progressing the neighbourhood plan, it would be premature to decribe this late stage in any detail
The process of creating a Neighbourhood Plan is complicated and it is unlikely that there could be a successful outcome without some help from a professional consultant
Fortunately, central government has made provision for a grant of up to £7,000 per community to assist with the cost of producing the plan
Many of you know that Jo Phillips, from Manchester University, is currently conducting research into the landscape and infrastructure of Ashley, and some of you have accompanied her on walks throughout the village
The information gathered by Jo is not only a facinating study of Ashley both now and in the past. but much of the information is relevant to Ashley's Neighbourhood Plan and will almost certainly assist in shortening the process. You can read more about Jo's research HERE