Ashtead Community Vision Time to start the Neighbourhood Development Plan and planning powers, rather the plans empower local volunteers to pull together ideas from their communities in order to advise the authorities of how they see the future development of those communities. As Locality explains,
The Ashtead Neighbourhood Forum was established to develop a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) – a community led framework for guiding the future development and growth of Ashtead. But since the Forum was given official authority to proceed following designation in July 2013 it has been diverted by having to deal with some outstanding business from Mole Valley District Council, namely the Green Belt Boundary Review (GBBR) and Site Assessments – assessments of potential development sites that landowners had put forward to MVDC. As the Forum’s Green Belt views have been submitted and the Site Assessment work draws to a close, the Forum’s working group, Ashtead Community Vision, has started to turn its attention to the NDP.
“NDPs are a community led framework for guiding the future development regeneration and conservation of an area. It may contain a vision, aims planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development. It may deal with a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues (such as housing employment heritage and transport) or it may focus on one or two issue only”. The ACV has to build, on behalf of the Forum, a strong “Evidence Base” as the NDP will need to be based on a proper understanding of Ashtead if it is to be relevant, realistic and address local issues effectively. Of course, in Ashtead’s case much work has already been done as a result of the GBBR and the site assessment process, but more will need to be done over the next two years to ensure existing information is up to date and new information is sought.
Community engagement is clearly a necessary and important element as it is essential to create consensus and community There is a lot of information of support for the plan which, when ready, will Neighbourhood planning and so I’d encourage be independently examined and then go to a you all to take a look at the “Neighbourhood local referendum for approval – a process Plans Roadmap Guide” – a 60 plus page which will take around two years. insight into what NDP’s are all about. And if So there’s much to be done – so just make that sounds too onerous, do, at the very least, take a look at the much shorter “Quick sure you remain ‘engaged.’ Guide to Neighbourhood Plans”. Both John Morgan documents can be found on the advisory ACV member group Locality’s website at www.locality.org.uk. For further information either go to the website Here’s my own quick guide… It’s worth saying at outset that NDP’s do not give communities the power to overrule central or local governments development
at: www.ashteadcommunityvision.org.uk or email info@ashteadcommunity vision.org.uk.
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Issue 104, June 2014. Never underestimate the importance of community.