Update on our Neighbourhood Plan
Its been a little while since we were able to give an update – lockdown has understandably slowed down communications and the processes we need to push our plans forward. However, the cogs are beginning to turn again and we have been making the most of Zoom meetings with our colleagues!
An important next step is to organise a Strategic Environmental Assessment of our Plan. This SEA is a systematic process for evaluating the environmental implications of our proposed Neighbourhood Plan, providing a means for looking at any cumulative effects of our policies, and how to address them at the earliest stage of our decision making, alongside economic and social considerations. In these more enlightened times, the SEA can provide adequate responses to environmental and climate change problems, which can adversely affect our environmental and climate resilience, and offers opportunities to enhance low-carbon development. Although there are no major issues anticipated, our environment here in the village does determine whether areas of land identified for possible development could be used or not. For example, if the tract of land is in a flood zone from the River Nene or other waterways, the assessment clarifies that it would be unsuitable, or that it may not be cost effective to develop. We also have a conservation area and a number of listed buildings to consider.
It is useful to keep in mind the scope of the Plan. The latest housing needs assessment completed by Midlands Rural Housing (conducting an independent and objective survey), concluded that there is an identified need for 12 affordable rented homes, 6 shared ownership homes and some open market homes. 25 households identified that they would like to move home but remain in the village. 11 of these are deemed as suitably housed in their current accommodation. 17 of the 25 households would like to relocate to 2-bedroom bungalows. A number of respondents said they would be like to ‘self-build’ their next home. These have been included in the number that expressed a desire for open market housing.
On average, 21 market homes are sold in the village each year. The need identified through the survey for open market housing could be met through these sales without a requirement for new build development. This would of course be dependent upon the type of homes sold, and the type required, e.g. the sale of large family homes would be unsuitable for those wishing to downsize to single storey accommodation and vice versa. The full document will shortly be available to view on our website at: netherheyfordneighbourhoodplan.org.uk
Since our last update, there has also been an independent survey of the sites which were put forward as available to develop. More details on this in our next bulletin, as well as a revised timescale to completion following the impact of the Coronavirus. We are grateful to Tony Williams who has stepped up to become a member of our core group, bringing his knowledge of planning and local systems from his role on the Parish Council.
Tony Clewett, Tom Dodd, Tony Williams and the NHNPG Group
For more information on Nether Heyford Neighbourhood Plan visit the website: