Neighbourhood Development Plan – update 30 June 2017
From the outset we have taken the view that the NDP process is an important tool in the delivery of the intended outcomes of the Localism Act, in particular the promotion of civic engagement, community empowerment and the development of sustainable communities. We took the view that, in this regard, the process of producing the plan was just as important as the plan itself, hence our mission statement:
“To promote a stronger and closer community by empowering individuals and families living in and around Botus Fleming and Hatt to have a say in the future development of the area.”
Our first, and possibly greatest, challenge was to develop a strategy of engagement that would enable parishioners to have the confidence to express views on matters that were highly specialised. We produced this engagement strategy last year and in summary it requires us to inform residents about the nature of the task and the legislation underpinning it, the imperatives arising from this legislation and the limitations of the project and the progress made and the next steps. Informing has been a continuing function of the committee and to date we have produced and delivered six publications to each address in the parish, have used our email mailing list to disseminate information and have created and publicised a website. We have also held several consultation events. The aim of the two events in December and January was to identify a vision for the future of the parish and we did not restrict comments to planning matters. This broad and diverse involvement of citizens was used to create a collective vision for the future.
The analysis of all information received has been rigorous. Responses to our consultations and emails received have been dissected to identify the core points and these were collated. This enabled us to identify the issues that attracted the greatest number of comments and gave us the information we needed to create the residents’ Vision Statement. The most commonly cited issue in the feedback was the recreation field and we are continuing to look at ways of securing its future.
Having started the engagement process we then began looking at the other areas where evidence was required. To date we have been gathering information on:
Some of this evidence was presented at our third consultation event and further views were sought about how the vision might be realised.
Our next steps will be to formulate our policies. Our policies will reconcile the requirements of the CLP and NPPF with the residents’ vision for the parish. We will be relying on the support of a Planning Consultant to achieve this.
Planning consultant. We have approached three prospective consultants. The first was experienced in NDPs but was very expensive and we did not feel that we had sufficient funds to cover enough days to be useful. The second declined to make a bid for the work as he admitted that we could not afford him. At that stage I had a meeting with the Planning Lead for Tamar Valley AONB who advised me of a RTPI run “planning aid” service. Unfortunately we could not identify anyone locally to provide this service. I then became aware that an old school friend of my son had recently taken up a position with a planning practice in Plymouth and informed the NDP committee. The NDP committee requested that I ask him if he wished to express an interest and he was subsequently interviewed by Denis Morgan, Finlay Linford and Malcolm Fletcher. Following the meeting he submitted a report outlining how he perceived his role and offered discounted terms as he was keen to have experience with NDPs. The NDP committee then agreed unanimously to accept his offer. Having initially facilitated the introduction I recused myself from the entire process as he had connections with my family. Louis Dulling has already made a significant impact and we anticipate that he will be instrumental in helping us complete our plan this year.
Confused? You might well be.
We made a decision to conduct a very simple survey to identify households with affordable housing needs. We rejected the idea of a comprehensive Housing Need Survey as the questionnaire would be long-winded and intrusive and experience in other parishes shows a very poor response. We publicised this in our newsletter delivered on 31 May and set up an online survey to record your answers. Then something really strange happened. On 2nd June someone delivered a comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment to residents of the parish. The survey bears the logo of Botus Fleming PC and the text makes reference to helping the PC and the Neighbourhood Development Plan. Here is what you need to know:
You can find our survey at https://surveyhero.com/c/d3e55cd
Housing Need Assessment
Our previous survey demonstrated a wish to provide affordable housing to meet local need. We now need to understand what that need is. Affordable housing can be provided to those who cannot obtain housing on the open market because of their financial situation and needs. There are different types of affordable housing:
We are running a Yes/No survey to identify individuals and families who fall into this category. A large response will give us the most meaningful evidence.
You can find the survey at https://surveyhero.com/c/d3e55cd
Landscape Character Assessment
On Sunday 23rd April members of the steering committee were joined by a group of residents on a walk through the roads and lanes of the parish. The intention was to walk slowly, observe the landscape and stop at gateways and vantage points to appreciate and record aspects of the countryside that give the parish its character. The weather was kind to us and our timing was perfect as the verges were bursting with wild flowers and the tress were coming into leaf. 25 people took part in the walk which was also an enjoyable social occasion. It was such an enjoyable and rewarding day that we feel it should become an annual event.
We held a second Open Day on Sunday 2nd February on the forecourt of Hatt Garage during which we were asking what the residents would like the parish to look like, and how it would be to live here, in 20 years time. We identified 26 different areas that attracted the most comments. These were used to create an on-line survey, the results of which largely corroborated our initial analysis, with one or two additional insights. We are now in a position to publish a Vision Statement based on our findings. This statement represents an aspiration and is not a plan or a statement of intent. It will give us an intended destination to aspire to while conforming to the obligations and limitations set by National and Local Policy.
You have a voice, have your say
Consultation is an ongoing process and we will be seeking your views on the various aspects of the plan as we go on. We are also open to any other comments you may have on the work done so far or any other matters relating to Neighbourhood Planning.
Parish Council ElectionsFollowing last week's elections we now have six members of the Steering Committee on the Parish Council. To restore the balance on the Committee we would love to recruit more members from the communit... read more
Posted: 9 May 2017
The Big LunchOne of our aims is to promote a stronger and closer community. On the weekend of June 17-18th many communities across the UK will be hosting either The Big Lunch, a community cohesion event promoted b... read more
Posted: 21 April 2017
Neighbourhood WatchWe have also been actively engaged in preparing for the launch of a Neighbourhood Watch, and are pleased to announce that our Parish Coordinator has now been formally accepted. Next steps on this soon... read more
Posted: 10 April 2017