What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan is a new way for local people to influence the planning and development of the area in which they live and work. We now have an opportunity to shape the future of Meppershall Parish.
- Once our Neighbourhood Plan is approved, it will be a legal document setting out what development is acceptable and for what reason. Developers and local authority planners must take notice of the plan when future developments are proposed. Without a Neighbourhood Plan our views will not be considered, we’ll have little control over any development that takes place and we will receive less community funding from developers.
- The Meppershall Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group are putting together a Neighbourhood Plan for our parish, supported by the Meppershall Parish Council.
How does this affect us?
Our Neighbourhood Plan must comply with Central Bedfordshire’s Local Plan and the government’s wider policy of sustainable development. Inevitably, building development will happen in Gravenhurst, but a Neighbourhood Plan will ensure that it is in keeping with, and responsive to, our needs. It will also help to ensure the services and facilities we have asked for are a requirement in any new developments.
Vision & Objectives
The Vision & Objectives of the Meppershall Neighbourhood Plan have been carefully developed and refined by the Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to reflect the priorities of the community, and help set the future of the village. The Vision is the overall aim of the Neighbourhood Plan and the Objectives are more detailed, allowing the development of policies, which in turn will be used to comment on and determine planning applications.
Our vision for Meppershall is to enhance the rural character of the Parish whilst maintaining the hilltop aspect and linear nature of the village. A variety of homes will be provided on small scale developments to accommodate residents through all stages of life. Green spaces and biodiversity will be protected and enhanced to promote wellbeing in the community. Local services, community facilities and businesses will be supported to ensure that the village and its residents' flourish.
- The rural character of the Parish will be maintained, ensuring that the scale and design of development is in keeping with the rural setting.
- The attractiveness of the landscape views and the rich ecological biodiversity will be maintained and enhanced.
- The historic character of the village will be retained, including the Conservation Area, Listed Buildings and their settings and the historic landscape.
- Promote and inform residents and visitors of the rich heritage of the village and its offerings
- The green spaces within and around the village will be easily accessible and ecologically diverse and green corridors will be enhanced. New green spaces will be provided and protected in the future.
- New housing will provide for the needs of the local area with the emphasis on providing smaller homes for younger people and older people who may wish to downsize.
- New housing will be designed to a high quality, the form and bulk of buildings respecting the rural setting particularly at the periphery of the settlement.
- Community facilities and retail outlets will be supported and enhanced to ensure the village can service the community’s needs locally and sustainably.
- Existing local recreation facilities will be protected and improved and opportunities for enhanced sport and recreation will be supported.
- Home working and the re-use of brownfield land for business purposes will be encouraged and existing businesses including agriculture in the Parish will be supported to retain local employment opportunities
- The reliance on cars, particularly single occupancy journeys, will be reduced by improving walking and cycling access within the village and to local services and to improve both road and pedestrian safety throughout the village. The use of public transport will be encouraged.
The Neighbourhood Plan Schedule
The Steering Group has revised their schedule for producing the Neighbourhood Plan. The high level dates are as follows:
- Finish writing the draft plan and supporting documents
- Finish reviewing the documents and apply modifications
- Regulation 14 Consultation
- Update Neighbourhood Plan from feedback received
- Regulation 16 Independent Examination
- Preparation for Neighbourhood Plan Referendum
- Meppershall Parish referendum on Neighbourhood Plan
- Central Bedfordshire Council adopts Meppershall Neighbourhood Plan
- Starts 20th September until 30th October 2021
- Starts 1st November 201
- TBC – circa. January 2021
- TBC – circa. March 2022