Cheshire East Council aims to become the leading local authority in the promotion of neighbourhood planning and makes the commitment as the emerging Bunbury and Sandbach ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ consultations go live.
As part of its ‘Residents First’ commitment, the Council has pledged to give full support to parishes and towns wishing to develop Neighbourhood Plans for their communities, giving them local control over the scale and location of proposed developments.
Residents are being urged to get involved and have their say about their own emerging Neighbourhood Plan by logging on to the Council’s website.
Council Leader, Councillor Michael Jones, said: “We have promised the people of Cheshire East that we will protect the characteristics they value in their own town or village and emerging Neighbourhood Plans allow the people to do this.”
Sandbach and Bunbury are the first parishes to publish their emerging Neighbourhood Plans and both will now go out to public consultation.
Nineteen more parishes across the Borough have formally started the process and 50 parishes and town councils have expressed an interest in getting their own emerging plans in place.
The Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member for strategic outcomes added: “These emerging neighbourhood plans are being developed by local communities and volunteers from all walks of life.
“They are looking at roads, housing, employment, the street environment, leisure and retail; all the issues which impact on our daily lives. This is localism at work and at its best and I congratulate Sandbach and Bunbury communities.
“This is about empowering local communities, positively supporting good development and resisting undesirable, unsustainable proposals.”
Community groups and local organisations are encouraged to contribute to the preparation process, before emerging plans are officially published.
A six-week public consultation exercise will take place, following that the emerging neighbourhood plan will be adopted.
The government has confirmed funding to support the neighbourhood plans into the next financial year while in some cases, High Court rulings have recognised their importance and overturned planning appeals in favour of residents, especially when they are in emerging status.
It’s all part of the Localism Act 2011 which empowers communities to have more of a say about where they live and work.
Residents and local councils can obtain more information about Neighbourhood Plans by visiting the Cheshire East web site at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning