An Introduction to Neighbourhood Planning

 
Silsoe Parish Council is creating our own Neighbourhood Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan is a new way for local people to influence the planning and development of the area in which they work - it lasts until 2035 and should -
    * Choose where new homes, shops, offices and other dvelopment should be built and influence what type of housing should be built
    * Identify and protect important local green spaces or other treasured assets

“Our vision for Silsoe is to maintain our picturesque and historic village as a place where people aspire to live; with housing and services to meet the needs of all our residents; where traffic is managed so that our sites are accessible to visitors; and that local businesses enjoy the benefits of being advantageously placed, yet respect the heritage of the village”

Our Neighbourhood Plan area for Silsoe was designated by Central Bedfordshire Council on 12th December 2016.  Click here for the Decision Notice.

Once approved, the Plan will have legal force in setting out what development is acceptable in our parish and for what reasons - developers and the local authority planners will have to take note. Without it, we will have little control over development and less access to community funding.
 
The Neighbourhood Plan will sit underneath the CBC Local Plan, complying with their core strategy and the governments' wider strategy for sustainable development. However having a Neighbourhood Plan will ensure that we have a say and some degree of influence in whatever happens in Silsoe.
 
The Silsoe Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee (SNPSC) members include - 
*   Helen Flack - Chair
*   Julie McGrory - Secretary
*   Helen Skepper - Treasurer
*   Ann Webb
*   Peter Offer
*   Jeff Offer
*   Jane Blumsom
 
Please find our written constitution here.
UPDATE 31.03.18

We have made excellent progress with our Neighbourhood Plan and we are now ready to take it to the next level.  There are several hoops that we need to jump through to get our Neighbourhood Plan ratified, however once we do, then we can be confident that we are doing everything to protect Silsoe between now and 2035. Feedback has been fantastic so far, with great involvement from residents to ensure that we create something that goes a long way to address some of the issues that we face. So, your help is needed to take us through the next stages.

Here is where we are and what we need to do next –

  • The Village Design Statement was agreed to be adopted by the Parish Council in the last meeting on 21st February 2018 and with no further comments from villagers by the 28th February 2018, we can now formally add this to our Silsoe Neighbourhood Plan, which will be submitted to the Inspector as part of our overall Plan. The Village Design Statement is in addition to Housing policies laid down in the Silsoe Neighbourhood Plan and will give residents and developers alike the specific guidelines that they need when building or developing in Silsoe moving forward.  Click here to read a copy.
  • We now have a six week consultation period for the Silsoe Neighbourhood Plan itself, starting from 1st April. The Village Design Statement can be viewed alongside the complete Silsoe Neighbourhood Plan, which can be found here.
  • A summary of our policies can be found here and should be read in conjunction with the Silsoe Village Design Satement, as well as the Neighbourhood Plan for the full picture.
  • Hard copies will also be available to view at SOS tea Rooms and on request from Julie McGrory who can be contacted on Julie McGrory julie@juliemcgrory.co.uk. Please ensure that you take every opportunity to read through and make any comments about the Plan, so that we can then take these into consideration before we move it forward.
  • Our updated Green Infrastructure Plan, being created by Jon Balaam from the Greensand Trust, that takes into consideration how our village looks and feels right now in terms of green spaces and its environment, is currently being finalised and helps inform the Landscape and Environment policies that will be specific to Silsoe. This document will also be added to the Silsoe Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Many of you will have met Jon at our exhibitions at the Village Hall where he was asking lots of questions – some of which were about what projects we can take on to improve the environment in Silsoe. Please take part in his survey  -https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SilsoeGI -  to have your say on what projects should be prioritised.  Please use this map to clarify your answers - https://www.greensandtrust.org/news/helping-silsoe-shape-its-future - this will be live until Sunday 29th April 2018.
  • We have six weeks to complete this process, during which time CBC will be undertaking a Sustainability Appraisal on our Plan.
  • Once we have completed our six week consultation and updated the plan following our consideration of any responses, we will submit the plan to CBC with the accompanying documents.  CBC as the local planning authority, will then carry out ANOTHER 6 week formal consultation on the final plan.  Documents will include –
    • Our Green Infrastructure Plan
    • Our Village Design Statement
    • Our Consultation Statement – which shows how we have communicated with Silsoe residents about our progress and got everyone involved
    • Our Neighbourhood Plan itself
    • Condition Statement – which will show how our policies align with the CBC Local Plan
  • All the comments received at this consultation will be forwarded, with the plan and documents, to an inspector for their consideration.  We don’t know how long this will take and will depend on how many questions they have.  Once the inspectors report is received, SNPSC will need to make the necessary changes to the plan and CBC will then organise the referendum.
  • The Referendum is where all residents get their final say as to whether they agree or disagree with the Silsoe Neighbourhood Plan. With a minimum 50% agreement we can then formally adopt it!

So, nearly there and most of the hard work is done – we just need to pull together the documentation to support our plan, however most importantly, we need you to have your say between 1st April and 13th May 2018. Please let us know what you think and get in touch using this email – SilsoeParishCouncil@gmail.com - please let us know which points you are specifically referring to, so that we can address each point made in our reporting.

Many thanks - SNPSC