It is a statement of a ‘neighbourhood’s (Eastington Parish in our case) vision of how we see ourselves and our future, in terms of growth and development, and the things that are important to us. It culminates in a number of policies describing the things we would like to see encouraged or protected as we grow.
It comes out of the recent changes to Planning Law, and the idea of giving more power to local people. Our NDP followed on from the ‘Parish Plan’ that we had already developed from public surveys and has been through many stages of consultation with residents and with Stroud planners and inspectors. We (Eastington residents) accepted the final version at the referendum in August 2016 by a majority of 91%. After that it was ‘adopted’ by Stroud District Council and passed into ‘law’ – in as much as the Planning Officers and Inspectors are obliged to take its policies into account when making planning decisions.
It is supposed, amongst other things, to contain statements of where we want and don’t want building development to occur. In a parallel timescale, Stroud District was engaged in writing the Stroud ‘Local Plan’, which is a similar document but more strategically based and covering the whole Stroud district. Our Neighbourhood plan was ‘expected’ to be in tune with the policies inherent in the Local Plan.
The West of Stonehouse development was already in the Local Plan, so although this large-scale development within Eastington Parish is not necessarily what we would have chosen, we had to accept it within our plan.
Generally speaking, our NDP policies say that we only want building to occur within the existing ‘village boundary’ of Alkerton. The only ‘exception’ is policy EP5 to allow a certain amount of ‘Affordable Housing’ to be built outside of this to satisfy quantified local needs. Clause 8.0.6 asks that such exception sites be within 800 metres of both Alkerton Cross shops and OHMG community facilities.
There is a link to all the documents concerned on our Reference documents page.