Welcome to the Potton Neighbourhood Plan website.
You have probably seen us at the various community events in Potton over the summer and we’d like to give you a brief outline of what exactly a Neighbourhood Plan is and how the steering group, led by Potton Town Council, are working on producing Potton’s development plan until 2035.
What is a neighbourhood plan?
A neighbourhood plan is a plan drawn up by a community that sets out a shared vision, policies and proposals to shape future growth and development of the local area. Once agreed by Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) and ratified by a referendum by the residents of Potton, the Neighbourhood Plan will become a statutory document which means that by law it has to be taken into account by CBC when planning applications are being determined.
A Neighbourhood Plan
- Allows people to have a say on where new homes, shops, businesses and community facilities should go and what they should look like.
- Gives people the opportunity to identify and help protect areas of green space that are of particular importance to them.
- Cannot stop development but it can guide or encourage further development.
Why produce a neighbourhood plan?
A neighbourhood plan can give people real power to shape the development and growth of their local area. There are many potential benefits of a neighbourhood plan in terms of outcomes and also the process of preparing one. For example, a neighbourhood plan can:
- Give local people greater ownership of the planning policies in their area
- Allow a community to set out where development should go and what it should look like
- Bring the community together to share ideas and build consensus about the needs and priorities for the area;
- Help create lasting partnerships to take forward actions that may arise from the process;
- Raise awareness and understanding of planning;
- Improve relationships between the community and the Town Council;
- Provide a detailed evidence base about the community;
- Inform local authority strategies
We hope that you will support us in writing the Potton Parish Neighbourhood Plan in order to secure Potton’s future.
The Potton Neighbourhood Plan - we are almost there
Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) will assess our Plan under a Regulation 16 Consultation. This involves consultation with the appropriate divisions within CBC to ensure that the Plan does not contravene either Council policies of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). An Independent Assessor will also be appointed to scrutinise our Plan and to act as a mediator between us and CBC. The Independent Assessor will have the final say on whether or not our proposed Neighbourhood Plan can go to a referendum of residents of the Potton Parish where formal adoption of the Plan will be sought.
We hope that the referendum will be held in early Spring 2019. This will be a simple YES/NO choice as to whether you wish to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan and thus make it a mandatory document that must be considered by both future developers and CBC.
Details and dates for the referendum will be published by CBC and we will also advertise by us when we know more.
So please vote in the referendum.
CBC will not adopt the Neighbourhood Plan unless it is endorsed by Potton residents.