Posted 18th September 2015
Cheshire East receives Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan – to help boost protection from unsustainable development
September 4, 2015
The Council has now formally received Bunbury’s Neighbourhood Plan.
It follows Council Leader Councillor Michael Jones earlier this year agreeing to designate the parish as one of many areas to be covered by a Neighbourhood Plan – to help shape development in the local area.
Neighbourhood Plans enable local people to have a say in the development they would like to see in the area where they live.
Bunbury Parish Council, which covers a largely rural area with a population of 1,350 situated in the green gap between Nantwich, Crewe and Chester, successfully applied for designation which was approved by Cheshire East Council in October 2014.
The plan will now be the subject of a final six weeks of public consultation before being scrutinised by an appointed independent examiner.
A positive examiner’s report will then mean that the plan can progress to a local referendum when local people will be given the opportunity to vote and bring the plan into effect.
The policies in the Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan will then be given their full weight in deciding planning applications.
Councillor Jones, who is ward member for Bunbury, said: “Neighbourhood plans enable local people to develop policies to address those planning matters that affect not only their interests but also their wellbeing.
“They allow communities to take ownership of planning policy, which directly impacts on their lives.
“Neighbourhood plans are a key part of our commitment to putting ‘residents first’, which is one of the Council’s most important priorities, and we fully support communities in putting them in place.”
The Council is working with more than 20 communities to bring forward Neighbourhood Plans and is encouraging many more to do so.
Bunbury Parish Council chairman Ron Pulford said: “A consensus has emerged that accepts the need for limited development but also says that we want it on terms that encourage sustainable development, with small groups of houses that have regard to the character and infrastructure of the village.
“The plan has already been cited at planning committee meetings, where planning applications that were outside the scope of the plan were refused.
“Our journey isn’t over, with more consultation organised by Cheshire East Council to come, followed by an independent examination and a referendum. Thank you to the Group, thank you to the people of Bunbury, we are nearly there, please keep supporting us.”
A Neighbourhood Plan contain policies relating to the development of land, including policies to allocate land for development, protect valued local features such as green spaces and achieve good design.
While a Neighbourhood Plan is flexible to some extent in terms of what can be included, it has to meet certain requirements including four ‘basic conditions’.
These relate to ensuring that neighbourhood plans:
- Properly consider national planning policy;
- Are compatible with the strategic policies of the latest adopted local plan;
- Seek to achieve sustainable development; and
- Do not conflict with certain legal provisions.