In summary, the Neighbourhood Plan, is a way that a community can take some control of the planning in its area; many localities in England are already doing this.
With the extent of new developments proposed in Hilton, then it is right that the residents should have more of a say about what happens in the village!
There are over 1650 communities currently Neighbourhood planning, representing 8 million people, or 15% of the population of England. The Government has awarded the groups over £6.7 million to develop these plans.
When the plans have been fully developed they go to a local referendum for acceptance and lodged as a formal document with the Council. Thus far, there have been just 100 referenda in England with nearly 237,000 people casting their votes. Their collective views have been captured and now have to be recognised in future planning applications in that neighbourhood. It becomes mandatory.
The policies that the approved plans have covered, include:
- Promoting social distinctiveness
- Parking standards
- Pedestrian and cycle routes
- Housing, inc affordable housing
- Designation of Local Green Spaces
- Provision for recreational spaces
- Encouraging new employment uses
- Trees, woodlands.
…but a Hilton Neighbourhood Plan does not have to be limited to this; it can include the issues that are important to us.
This is a great opportunity for people to have a real voice in the future of Hilton. This is not a paper exercise – it has real “teeth”