Gnosall Parish Council
Our Mission is to improve the quality of life for those who live and work in the Parish of Gnosall and those who visit it.
The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group, formed in September 2013 that consists of 9 members, has undertaken a lot of work including preparation, distribution and analysis of a major detailed questionnaire that so many of you kindly completed. The Neighbourhood Pan can add a layer of parish specific planning policies but it must be in general conformity with the Borough Local Plan. Current thinking is that the Neighbourhood Plan should include planning policies on matters such as housing, employment and economy, recreation and leisure, health and wellbeing, education, tourism, transport, communications technology and environmental protection. Subject to meeting basic legal requirements, there is flexibility over the scope and content of Neighbourhood Plans in terms of how simple or complex they can be. They can be relatively simple documents with criteria based policies limited to specific local issues, or they can be more complex covering a wider range of issues and including proposed development site allocations as well as policies. The group has limited resources and limited time and has recognised that external support will be required in order to move the plan forward through the next stages that includes preparing an Issues and Aspirations document, draft polices for consultation and potentially proposed site allocations with site profiles and appraisals. Further public consultations events may also be necessary in respect of the draft polices, potential site allocations or both.The working group and the Parish Council recognise the need to appoint a consultant to help with some of the work involved and at a meeting in April, agreed to appoint a consultant to work on some parts of the plan. The working group will continue to work on the plan wherever it can and will work closely with the appointed consultant. Grant aid will be sought to offset some of the consultant’s costs and the Parish Council has allocated funds in this year’s budget to help meet these costs.
By the time you’re reading this, the public consultation on the draft Neighbourhood Plan and the sites which some landowners have put forward for consideration will have finished. Depending on the volume and detail of your responses and the time it’s taken to analyse them, updates to the Plan will have been made and a final version submitted, or about to be submitted to the Borough Council. A Consultation Report will also have been written summarising the consultation undertaken during the Plan process, what issues were raised and how they have been addressed. Once the Borough Council receive the submitted final version they will check that it meets the necessary legal requirements, report it to their own Committee and then advertise it for a further 6 weeks. They will then arrange for the formal “Examination” process by an independent, specialist Neighbourhood Plan Examiner from a Government panel. All being well this public Examination could happen late spring/early summer, followed later in the year by a public vote (Referendum) on the Neighbourhood Plan, once the Examiner has published his or her report and if he/she is happy with the submitted Plan, with or without more changes. Nationally, Neighbourhood Planning has had a further boost recently, in a report from the Government’s Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the operation of the National Planning Policy Framework which it published in 2012. The report followed a national consultation last year which the Parish Council submitted comments on. The following extracts from the conclusions of the MPs on the Select Committee in their report firmly support what we are trying to do in Gnosall:
“40. We are supportive of neighbourhood plans, and commend those communities who have got, or are working to get, a neighbourhood plan adopted.
41. Nothing could do more to undermine confidence in neighbourhood planning than for a view to pervade that neighbourhood plans are being ignored in planning decisions.
42. Instead of objecting to policies in neighbourhood plans, house builders and developers should be working with communities to ensure that development meets local needs.”
Neighbourhood Plan Working Group Chairman