Nassington Neighbourhood Pan (NNP) Advisory Committee (AC) meetings take place each month. From May, this will be the second Monday of each month.
All members of the public are welcome to attend these meetings which will be held in a virtual setting via zoom.
As many of you might have seen, the government is looking at what has been headlined as “Radical reform unlike anything we have seen since the Second World War”. Many politicians, councils and pressure groups, outside of large urban areas, see this as a very much the wrong approach. Indeed, it appears that voters in a recent Home Counties byelection used their ballot papers to demonstrate displeasure at the thought of poorly managed zonal development.
CPRE cites threats to local democracy, green spaces, and to the provision of affordable housing. The Town & Country planning association, which campaigns for the reform of the planning system, has major concerns about democratic accountability and feels that these changes are the wrong set of changes.
The localism act was designed to allow local communities to take control of how their built environment develops by means of various planning tools at their disposal, the most common of which is a Neighbourhood Plan. Nassington is in the process of joining some other local villages which already have neighbourhood plans (Glapthorn, Warmington, Castor, Kings Cliffe). If some measures outlined in the white paper do come about, a degree of local democracy and accountability for where we live can be maintained with a neighbourhood plan in place.
The Neighbourhood Plan working group meets regularly to take forward the process. As the whole emphasis is on community led planning, the group will be working in innovative ways to draw views from the wider community to form the basis of the plan’s policies, as meeting in person isn’t the wisest of choices as things stand. Ultimately, the plan will be based on what most of the residents of Nassington input and cannot become part of the planning system until it is voted on at a proper referendum. This process kicks off elsewhere in this newsletter – there is a brief question asking for your views about housing needs. The easiest way to answer is online: tinyurl.com/NNPAC-Housing, but you can also cut out the questions and reply on paper.
The working vision statement is:
At the end of this Plan period Nassington will have managed small/medium development housing growth which meets a diverse range of needs and in particular any identified need for affordable housing. It will support the growth and development of local business, it will support all community facilities including the preschool, school and will demonstrate clear intentions for a new village hub to encompass a village community hall facility and support social, sport and wellbeing actives in the locality. It will develop facilities for young people as well as supporting the ageing population and it will support local farming, environmental sustainability, and inclusivity.
The local plan process is funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. We have been granted additional funding to prepare a Design Code which will underpin the Neighbourhood Plan and help shape future development in the village. A firm called AECOM, which is one of the largest civil engineering and planning consultants in the world, is the parish council’s consultant-partners for the design code part of the process. With a global understanding of design and planning, we anticipate a broadly enabling approach, resulting in the Design Code being very much a ‘critical friend’ in the development control process, rather than a means of frustrating innovation and design originality. One vital element will be the economics of design, so that people will not be forced to spend money on non-essentials.
We will be holding drop-in sessions on 7th and 11th September in the village hall so that people can see the work to date.
If you would like to become involved with the working party to help take the project forward, please get in touch. Even if you are would like to put forward your assistance for certain tasks (perhaps taking photographs that capture the essence of Nassington) or certain aspects of what the plan will tackle (the future of farming, the importance of hedgerows and verges, open green spaces, eco-design), please let us know now so that we have you in our sights for those ‘drill-down’ focus group meetings.