A Neighbourhood Plan for Kington Langley
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan is ‘’a community-led framework for guiding the future development and growth of an area. It may contain a vision, aims planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development. They relate to the use and development of land and associated social, economic and environmental issues that are of particular importance in a local area. A Neighbourhood Plan will be subject to examination and a public referendum (requiring more than a 50% ‘yes’vote) and will then form part of the Local Development Plan. This statutory status gives Neighbourhood Plans far more weight than some other local planning documents such as parish plans, community plans and village design statements’’.
Should Kington Langley Have One?
The Parish Council had previously concluded (and this has been discussed in past Annual Parish Meetings) that the preparation of such a Plan and the effort and resources required to prepare it were not justified, mainly because Kington Langley is classified as a ‘small village’ in Wiltshire Council’s Core Strategy and, as such, is deemed suitable only for limited infill development as opposed to the more extensive development permitted in communities designated as ‘large villages’ in the Strategy such as, for example, Kington St Michael and Sutton Benger.
However, following recent planning proposals that are or have been under consideration (most notably the Chippenham Gateway proposals, the Range and Barrow Farm) which would have or could significantly impact the village, the Parish Council have revisited the question of preparing a Plan and want to promote discussion of this important subject with a view to deciding at the Annual Parish Meeting whether, as a community, we want to prepare one. It is important to add here that whilst the Parish Council is a ‘qualifying body’ under the relevant legislation to promote the preparation of a plan, its preparation, approval and adoption is a community initiative and not a Parish Council project.
At its March meeting, the Parish Council asked me to take a lead in testing support for a Plan and, if the appropriate support is there, initiating the recruitment of a team of enthusiastic villagers to take the project forward including, most importantly, how we would involve the community throughout. This will be discussed at the Annual Parish Meeting on 25th April in the Union Chapel when I will be able to give more detail about the benefits of having a Plan, the options for what form it could take and what sort of resources and effort could be needed.
In the meantime, and if you are unable to attend the Annual Parish Meeting, please feel free to let me know your initial views about whether you think producing a Neighbourhood plan is a good idea – not, at this stage, about what the plan should contain, that will come later if we go ahead. Please either send me an email or drop a note in our postbox at Stocks Cottage, Middle Common.