The Parish Council and Sustainable Stonesfield are starting the process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan (NP). The Clerk has already taken the first formal step by applying to WODC to have the whole Parish designated as the ‘neighbourhood area’.
Creating an NP will involve the whole village. We will be holding public meetings in the New Year to explain what an NP is, and seeking volunteers to help in the many aspects of creating the Plan.
In the meantime, what is a Neighbourhood Plan? Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their community. They are able to choose where they want new homes, and other buildings to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided. Neighbourhood planning, at its best, provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community’s needs and where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area.
An NP is a statutory planning document. As long as it aligns with national planning policy and most importantly WODC’s Local Plan 2031, it must be considered in all planning applications.
Stonesfield is in the Cotswolds AONB. The village is surrounded by beautiful countryside, some of it designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Green spaces will be a key aspect of Stonesfield’s NP. Local green spaces are a specific kind of land designation which can protect these assets from development.
Stonesfield needs an NP to be approved and registered before the end of the current Local Plan 2031. Village voices need to be properly heard to ensure we get the houses we need. Currently we have the example of Farley Lane where a light industrial building is being converted into six tiny one-bedroom flats (one of the flats doesn’t even have a window in the bedroom) and 200m up the Lane executive four-bedroom houses have just been built and are on the market for £1,450,000 and £1,350,000 respectively. We feel sure that most villagers think neither of these developments meets the needs of the village. This is an abject failure of the planning process.
We will be arranging a public meeting in the New Year, but if you’d like to know more about neighbourhood planning check here for more information
If you know you want to get involved with helping create an NP now, please contact either
Wendy Gould, Stonesfield Parish Council, firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Morris, email@example.com