Progress so far
After the designation of the Parish as a Neighbourhood Plan area, work started on engaging with local residents and other stakeholders. In February and March 2020, we held two drop-in sessions which were very well attended.
A residents survey went out to every household in the parish and an exceptional level of response was obtained. The results are available under the Documents tab of this website.
A survey for local businesses was circulated.
Contact has been made with many local interest groups and organisations, service providers, statutory consultees, landowners and adjacent parish councils to seek their views.
Working with Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity, a Green Infrastructure Survey is well advanced, finding out residents aspirations and priorities for protecting and enhancing our local environment and heritage. The results will be published shortly.
Inevitably, progress has been slower than originally planned because of the unprecedented circumstances caused by the Covid -19 pandemic.
What happens next?
Publication of Green Infrastructure Survey results and map of aspirations.
There will be a further round of public consultation on a draft vision for the Parish and a range of options for the future, for example about housing, open space, design and sustainability, connectivity between different parts of the parish, and community facilities.
Our neighbourhood plan must meet certain specified ‘basic conditions’. These are to ensure the plan has regard to national policy and guidance and is in general conformity with adopted local plan policies. The Steering Group will work to ensure these legal requirements are met whilst promoting the needs, priorities and visions identified during our consultations.
Based on public consultation feedback on the draft vision and options, we will aim to prepare a draft plan for public comment in mid 2021. This is an obligatory formal step known as ‘pre- submission’ consultation (Regulation 14). Feedback at this stage will inform a final draft ready for submission to Bedford Borough Council. If all goes according to schedule, the draft plan could be submitted to the Borough Council in late 2021/early 2022.
Bedford Borough Council will carry out their own consultation on the plan and check the necessary documents have been provided. Following a period of publicity, the Borough Council will arrange
an independent examination to check the plan is sound, the technical reports have been completed and legal guidelines have been met.
Subject to any changes the assessor recommends, the plan will be put to a local referendum within the Neighbourhood Plan area. A majority is required in favour of the Plan before it can come into effect.