Firstly, a Very Happy New Year to you all!
With the new year just upon us we wanted to take the opportunity to share with you what you can expect from us with the Neighbourhood Development Plan in the coming year.
So, what is the NDP?
Well just as a reminder, our Parish decided to develop a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) in order to more directly influence where any new housing developments arising from the forthcoming West Berks Council Local Plan should be built. The idea being that it is better for parishioners to have a direct say where, rather than relying on West Berks Council to tell us. So far, we have been laying the foundations for the NDP, building on the firm base of the Village Design Statement and refining with your views from the Parish Survey conducted last year. Everyone then gets to vote on the NDP, which helps define how our community will grow over the next 17 years.
The NDP will help refine the parish thoughts on everything from where new houses are built, to how we protect the values and identity of our wonderful parish. From how we plan to preserve our wildlife, our beautiful views, our village culture, to how we will maintain our ‘narrow lanes’ and ‘dark skies’ within our lovely Parish.
Why should you care?
Easy really, you get a chance to participate and influence how housing will be allocated in the Parish, and ultimately to vote on a Neighbourhood Development Plan that has been developed by our parishioners for our parishioners. It’s not going to be the West Berks Council or the Newbury District Council giving you the answer. You’re going to be much more involved in influencing development, it’s going to be yours and the view of the Parish as a whole that will steer things in the future.
Are you interested?
We really hope so, because we firmly believe that this is a perfect opportunity to ensure that Cold Ash remains a beautiful part of the country to live, enjoy life and bring up our families.
What can you expect to see in the year ahead and how will it work?
As you can imagine, there’s a lot to do but we’re working on the following milestones in the year ahead:
- We need the first draft of our new plan ready for the summer, to include all the information and detail ready to be discussed with all of our parishioners.
- Through August and September, we plan to consult with you and the Parish to gain feedback, comments and thoughts that help to refine both the detail and the overall approach of the plan. We will, subject to change and barring any existing restrictions, reach out to you all in a number of ways including possibly Village Hall updates, Social Media, E Mail and leaflets to ensure everyone can have their say.
- Finally, we will take your inputs and update, modify and then send our proposal to the West Berkshire Council for feedback in December.
Late in 2022, there will be a local referendum where all parishioners will have the opportunity to say Yes or No to the recommended NDP. If it’s Yes then our NDP has to be adopted by West Berks Council as a formal part of the Local Plan and our allocation of housing and the associated policies will become operational for the next 17 years.
There will be plenty of consultation with parishioners later in 2021, but we welcome active involvement from anyone with some time and energy to help us prior to this, so if you’re interested in helping us shape this vital plan, we’d love to hear from you. We have a variety of activities still open that would benefit from another pair of willing hands including areas such as Heritage and community engagement. Please don’t be shy, we can really use the support, and who knows you might even enjoy it too! You can contact us via email at email@example.com
Remember that we owe it to ourselves and our families to get this strategy right and to help positively shape our community over the next 17 years.
Thank you and here’s again wishing you all a very happy 2021 ahead!!
Pete Murray On behalf of the CAPC NDP Steering Committee