The Neighbourhood Plan – what is happening?
Here is an update on the Neighbourhood Plan for Gamlingay as we’ll soon be sharing the draft plan with you for final consultation.[this text formed an article in the Gamlingay Gazette]
A Neighbourhood Plan is a way of helping local communities to influence the planning of the area in which they live and work – it means we can influence where new developments should be built, what they should look like, as well as ensuring we can protect important local green spaces.
It seems a while ago – but the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has been beavering away looking at the results of the village-wide survey, which was sent to all residents in late 2016. We have gathered some more background information from the Housing Needs survey, sent out to all villagers in late 2017 and have been waiting for the Local Plan for South Cambridgeshire to be finally adopted (Sept 2018). A lot of work has been undertaken, including consulting the village business community about how they see their role and what they would like to improve business opportunities within the village.
We have also met with landowners who are keen to bring forward their land for development. In addition, we have reviewed South Cambs District Council’s formal assessment of sites, which is known as the SHLAA assessment (2012). We have undertaken hamlet surveys in 2017 and 2018 and gathered detailed environmental data of the parish. We have more recently begun work on a Village Design Statement in partnership with the District Council. This project is being run as a separate group, by Community Champion Harriet Gould. Finally, we have also commissioned a Cycleway Improvement Plan with SUSTRANS (funded by the Parish Council).
We have collated all the facts and figures, taking your comments on board, and have created a shared vision for Gamlingay, along with a set of draft policies which we hope capture the needs of Gamlingay community for the next 20 years. The positive benefits our Neighbourhood Plan should bring are:
• More resources allocated from the Community Infrastructure Levy to be spent improving services and facilities within Gamlingay Parish. The added weight the policies will have in influencing planning decisions will enable a more local voice to be heard with regards to strategic decision-making.
• Better design of properties and business premises to meet the needs of Gamlingay residents.
• Improvements in local transport infrastructure, such as pathways, footpaths, bridleways and cycleways.
• Protection of our natural environment, and its special characteristics, views and vistas and valued open spaces.
The next step is to share this document with you and get your feedback to check whether we have got this right. The draft plan will ask you specific questions about each of the policy areas – to understand your views.
The draft plan will then go through some formal checking processes with the Local Planning Authority (South Cambs District Council) and will therefore be subject to further minor changes. All residents will then be able to vote on the final Neighbourhood Plan – called the Referendum Stage – which should happen in late 2019.
We’ll be asking for your opinion soon, so please look out for the draft plan through your letterbox
Interested in more information?
Please contact Kirstin Rayner, Neighbourhood Plan secretary: (01767) 650310 or clerk @ gamlingay-pc.gov.uk,