Feb Meeting Notes
All members of the public are invited to the Parish council meetings – the NEXT MEETING: is due on Monday 15th February 2021 at 7.40 pm via a teleconferencing system.
An open Public forum normally happens before the PC meeting at 7.30 pm. However with the latest Covid-19 situation it isn’t possible to have the public forum. However should parishioners wish to raise an agenda issue please contact the clerk with your enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org
A copy of the February agenda can be found here nearer the time.
January’s minutes will be signed off at the above tele-conference meeting – a copy of that meeting can be found here after the meeting.
All meetings are normally held at the social centre, Manor Drive.
View from the Chair
Let’s face it – there are only so many times I can ask people not to allow their dogs to poo in inappropriate places!!
So instead I am going to focus this article on giving up an update on the Neighbourhood Plan and try to answer some of the questions you have asked. Firstly, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who took the trouble to return the recent questionnaires. We received 170 responses and these are being analysed. This step is an important part of the prescribed process, where we can ask residents of Haversham-cum-Little Linford to decide on a number of choices, both of suggested policies and potential development sites.
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area – planning policies are used to decide whether to approve planning applications.
Written by the local community, a Neighbourhood Plan can be a powerful tool to ensure the community gets the right type of development, in the right place. The limitation of a Neighbourhood Plan is that it only has any influence or meaning for issues that relate to planning.
Why should Haversham-cum-Little Linford have one?
There will be greater protection from speculative planning applications in the future with an approved Neighbourhood Plan in place which puts forward suitable housing development proposals. It is also important that the local community are able to influence the environment, facilities and housing development in the Parish. The view of the Parish Council and the view of many in the community is that small scale appropriate development that can meet local needs would be beneficial to the parish.
Who is going to write the plan?
At the start of the process the Parish Council formed a steering group of Parish Councillors and local residents to undertake the work and research and prepare a draft Neighbourhood Plan with the help of consultants Oneil Homer, who are largely paid for by way of a grant for the purpose.
Why has it taken so long to get to this stage?
Preparing a Neighbourhood Plan is an extremely technical and complex issue. Those of us volunteering to work on it would all have liked to have got to this stage sooner, but we are not unique in experiencing this kind of timescale. Unfortunately, illness, work issues, misunderstandings, Covid and just the sheer volume of difficult work involved have all played their part in creating delays.
Why didn’t you have a meeting, in person or Zoom?
This was debated at some length by the steering group once it was clear a public meeting wasn’t going to be possible anytime soon. We felt that a document going through every door in the parish was the best way to ensure everyone could access the same information and no one would be excluded or disadvantaged due to technology limitations.
How do the Steering Group know what the Parish wants?
The steering group have been guided by the views of residents made at the initial public meeting, the housing needs survey, an earlier questionnaire and now this more recent one. Part of the responsibility of the steering group is to take on board those comments from the majority of parishioners and make recommendations on how as many as possible can be delivered within the framework of a Neighbourhood Plan.
Why was there only one site in New Haversham and four in Old Haversham?
All 28 landowners who have land adjoining the settlement boundaries of New Haversham and Old Haversham were contacted. 11 responded that they had land they would like to be considered for development; after very careful analysis and comparison to the criteria set, five sites remained.
Only one site in New Haversham was put forward from the 28 – no New Haversham sites were eliminated. The criteria and process of filtering is explained in detail in the document which accompanied the recent questionnaire. The steering group are obliged as part of the process to assess every site put forward in a fair and transparent way, which has been done. Thanks to the responses to the questionnaire, as well as previous community engagement, the steering group will hopefully understand the preferences of the community when preparing the draft Neighbourhood Plan.
What about the environmental impact?
Milton Keynes Council indicated that they did not require a Strategic Environmental Assessment at this stage for any of the sites you were asked to rank. However, our consultants ONeil Homer undertook an informal technical assessment on all the five sites and we included an overview in the document accompanying the questionnaire. Milton Keynes Council will undertake any further analysis they believe is necessary when they receive the draft Neighbourhood Plan or following consultation with statutory bodies.
What about traffic and flooding – these are issues of serious concern for residents?
Unfortunately a Neighbourhood Plan is a PLANNING document and floodwater drainage and traffic problems such as speeding are not planning issues except as they relate to a particular development proposal. The extent whereby traffic can be considered in a neighbourhood plan has been suggested as a policy to inform any development decisions. Any proposed site would have to be viable with regard to flood risk etc. as this is also an issue which can only be addressed within a Neighbourhood Plan as so far as it interacts with development proposals.
What happens next?
The steering group will aim to complete the draft Neighbourhood Plan with the help of our consultants. This will include proposed policies plus the site or sites – if any – they believe most fit the needs and objectives of the community based on all the information, research and consultation that has been undertaken.
At that stage the draft neighbourhood plan must be signed off by the Parish Council before it is submitted to Milton Keynes Council, who are the local planning authority. MKC may make some recommendations, ask for changes etc. and will put the plan out for consultation, including to statutory bodies.
Once both HcLL Parish Council and MKC are happy with the draft Neighbourhood Plan, it will be presented to an independent planning inspector. The inspector will then decide whether the plan is viable and should be put to a referendum so that voters in the parish can accept or reject the final neighbourhood plan; if accepted it must be taken into account in planning decisions.
Thank you to everyone for their interest and participation in this process of creating a Neighbourhood Plan. It is really appreciated and I would especially like to thank everyone on the steering group who has given up so much of their valuable time (and probably quite a few brain cells!) to get us to this point.
Chair – Haversham cum Little Linford Parish Council
YOUR PARISH COUNCILLORS ARE:
Chair – Pam Williams 3 Mill Road
Vice chair – Philip Turnbull 3 Granary Close
Ian Burgess Frost Cottage, 16 High Street
Barry Clift 21 Wolverton Road
Carol Langham 108 Wolverton Road
Jemma English 10 Wolverton Road
58 Wolverton Road
Clerk – Adele Boughton 8 Keppel Avenue
POLICIES AND PRODECURES
The Parish Council’s adopted policies and procedures can be viewed here.