Lambourn’s decision to proceed with a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) as described below will result in a number of of stages of work (sometimes with fallow periods while consultations are conducted) which could last several years.
This work has already started. One of the first tasks is to make an Application to Designate which confirms the exact area that the NDP will cover. This typically covers the entire civil parish, and this is what Lambourn Parish Council has decided. This application has been made to, and the formal Decision Notice has been issued by, West Berkshire Council to confirm its agreement.
It’s expected that the process will start in earnest in the new year. Publicity will be given to this here and elsewhere, particularly when engagement of any kind is required from residents or when important milestones have been reached.
Lambourn’s Memorial Hall was packed for the Parish Council’s public consultation meeting on Tues 30 October about the proposal to launch a Neighbourhood Development Plan. After a presentation about the process, cost and benefits, the meeting was opened to questions from the floor.
“Once an NDP is in place it is very difficult for West Berks planning to contravene it,” District Councillor Gordon Lundie explained at the meeting. “NDPs also help distinct communities like Lambourn protect their individuality.”
At the end of the evening a vote was taken and the result was almost unanimous to proceed with a NDP to formulate a plan for how Lambourn would like to develop over the next ten to 15 years.
Parish Council Chair Pete Penfold thanked everyone who attended the meeting. “I am delighted with the turn-out of over 60 parishioners and the very useful questions and the response to the meeting.”
“For the plan to be successful it needs to be driven by the community,” explains Parish Councillor Sue Cocker. “Based on the turn-out tonight I am hopeful we will have enough volunteers.”
Committees will be formed to focus on specific areas of interest including housing, education, racing, the River Lambourn and transport. If anyone would like to join any of these committees or volunteer in any way please see the foot of this post.
The NDP process will probably take at least two years to complete and will then need to be reviewed every two years to keep it up to date, for example in response to any change in any national policy.
The background to the decision
The 2011 Localism Act gave the right to local communities to create their own NPDs which would help shape various aspects of the future development, growth and character of the area. Over 80% of planning authorities (West Berkshire being one) have at least one area which has had a neighbourhood plan adopted.
The idea of the parish of Lambourn adopting an NDP was first suggested at the annual meeting in May 2018. The Parish Council subsequently arranged a number of events throughout the parish during the summer for residents to find out more about NDPs and to assess the level of public support. These were well attended and the working party was encouraged by the interest shown. Many offers of help were received – this is important because a successful NDP needs to be a community project, not one solely driven by the parish council.
Considering the turnout at this meeting, the large number of people who attended the information events over the summer and the publicity given to the matter here and elsewhere, it’s hard to see how the council could have consulted more widely. Lambourn will now join the ever-increasing number of parishes in West Berkshire (including Hungerford) which have decided to take this step.
For any enquiries relating to Lambourn’s NDP please email [email protected].
For general information about NDPs, including some of the things they can and cannot achieve, please click here.