What is Neighbourhood Planning?
Pressure on planning and development has increased dramatically in recent years and will continue to do so. As a result, in the last Parliament the Government decided to give local communities a say in how development proceeds in their areas. Neighbourhood planning is a community right introduced under the Localism Act 2011. It enables communities to shape development in their areas through the production of a Neighbourhood Plan. Plans can then become part of the District Council’s Local Plan and the policies contained within them are then used to determine planning applications. They cannot be used to block development that is already part of the Local Plan, but they can be used to shape where that development will go and what it will look like. Neighbourhood Plans require specialist expertise and are expensive to produce and are well beyond the means of smaller communities such as Duns Tew.
What is the Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan (MCNP)?
In order to enable smaller villages and communities to benefit from a Neighbourhood Plan that would otherwise be unaffordable, eleven villages, of which Duns Tew is one, have come together in association with the Dorchester Group (Owners and Developers of Heyford Park) to produce a Neighbourhood Plan for Mid-Cherwell.
The MCNP is administered by the MCNP Forum, which is made up of representatives of the participating villages and the Dorchester Group.
This initiative could play an important role in shaping the future of our local villages by determining, with statutory force, what development might be welcome and what might not be. The engagement of local people is essential to the process and you will shortly be hearing about local meetings in all the villages. In the meantime, please look at the Neighbourhood Plan website and or ask to be kept updated by email.
Why is Duns Tew involved?
Duns Tew is classified as a Category C village, which means the only development permitted is in-fill or conversions. However, the Parish Council felt it important to become part of a wider community that shares the same concerns. The Parish Council has been working very closely with the Dorchester Group since early 2014 to ensure Duns Tew is at the forefront of the decision making process and to try and protect the village from speculative development. The aims and objectives of the Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan, and a list of all the eleven villages participating can be viewed on their website: www.mid-cherwell.org.uk
The Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan has to be compatible with Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan. Work has already begun and is scheduled for completion by April 2017. For it to succeed and represent the views of all residents successfully, each village is currently arranging “Community Engagement” meetings throughout 2016.