After a referendum later this year during which local residents will be able to accept or veto the Neighbourhood Plan, it is hoped that it might be submitted for consideration and (we hope) acceptance in early 2016.
Fond of a particular local landscape vista or view, and would like to try and protect it? See the Landmark Views link www.hildersham.com/landmark-views.html , which we’re trying to extend to Linton as well.
In order to appreciate exactly what a Neighbourhood Plan is, we must first understand that it forms part of the whole national planning system.
Fundamental to this planning system is the National Policy Planning Framework, which sets out the Government’s planning policies for England, and the manner in which it is expected that these policies are to be applied.
Meanwhile, subordinate to the National Policy Planning Framework are Local Plans. These, prepared by local planning authorities, set out planning policies in each local authority area. At the moment (October 2015), an independent planning inspector is still examining the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan documents.
Finally, we come to the Neighbourhood Plan. A Neighbourhood Plan addresses the development and use of land, but, at the same time, can inspire local people and businesses to consider other ways to improve their neighbourhood than through the development and use of land. It cannot contain anything that contradicts or negates any of the policies in the NPPF or Local Plan, but can add important detail, such as specifying the sort of development that is allowed to take place within a specific area. It is a legal document, and is the only way that a community – the man in the street - can have a statutory voice in the planning process.
Here in Linton and Hildersham, we are hard at work on the Linton and Hildersham Neighbourhood Plan, the first such plan in South Cambridgeshire. We have held a public consultation, and several community engagement events, and have used these public comments as a basis to set down our ideas about the content of the Neighbourhood Plan (“the vision document.”) Working from this “vision document,” we have devised a series of objectives, each being dealt with by one of five Working Groups: