Neighbourhood Planning


West Bedlington Neighbourhood Plan

We need your views to help is shape the future of your Parish!

West Bedlington Town Council is leading the preparation of a neighbourhood plan for the area.

What is a neighbourhood plan?

The opportunity for local communities to prepare a neighbourhood plan was introduced in 2011.  It enables people living and working in an area to guide where and how future development happens.  Neighbourhood plans are prepared by the local community through their town and parish councils, rather than being prepared by Northumberland County Council.

The West Bedlington Neighbourhood Plan will be used to make decisions on planning applications, giving it genuine influence on the future of our area.  

Plans can include a range of policies, including those which:

  • guide new development;
  • conserve and enhance the environment; and
  • support the provision of community facilities. 

Plans can also include community actions, which could be delivered by the town council as well as other local groups and organisations.

What has happened so far?

Following a number of periods of early engagement on issues for the West Bedlington Neighbourhood Plan, the town council has prepared a draft vision and objectives for the plan and are now seeking the views of the local community and other stakeholders. 

How can I get involved?

The draft vision and objectives for the neighbourhood plan are included in this article.  It also provides information on the types of planning policies and other issues the neighbourhood plan could look to address.

The town council are launching this next round of community engagement on the plan at the Annual Meeting of the Town on Wednesday, 17 April 2019 between 6pm and 8pm.  The launch event is to be held at Bedlington Community Centre, Front Street West, Bedlington, NE22 5TT.  It is a drop-in event so you can come along at any point during the 2 hours.

If you can’t come along, please have a look at the town council’s website and Facebook page which will contain details of all of the information displayed after the event. 

You can submit comments in the following ways:

  • By attending the launch event on 17 April 2019;
  • By completing the form within this article and sending it to us at: West Belington Town Council, Bedlington Community Centre, Front Street West, Bedlington, NE22 5TT,  or
  • By completing the form available on our website and emailing it to us at westbedlingtontowncouncil@gmail.com  

Your feedback will be used to help inform the preparation of a draft neighbourhood plan, the town council therefore need comments to be sent back by Wednesday 1st May 2019.

Draft vision

The draft vision sets out what the West Bedlington Neighbourhood Plan intends to achieve over the plan period to 2036, it will inform all of the draft policies and community actions contained within the emerging plan.

  Draft Vision  
  By 2036 West Bedlington will comprise a sustainable and cohesive community.  There will be an appreciation of the importance of the heritage of the area, which is vital to its sense of place, as well as giving local communities a sense of belonging.    Improvements will have been made to the local environment, employment opportunities, services and facilities which will enhance the quality of life of residents.  Communities will be well-connected, via sustainable transport routes to major employment opportunities as well as and greater services and facilities beyond the plan area.   The important environmental and historic character of the area will have been maintained and enhanced by ensuring new development is of an appropriate scale and design, as well as reflecting the rural setting of the plan area.  Important green spaces will be protected for the benefit of future generations.  

Draft objectives

To deliver the vision, four draft objectives have been developed.  The objectives clearly relate to the issues identified through early engagement.  The draft planning policies and community actions contained within the plan will deliver the objectives.

  Draft Objectives  
  Objective 1 – Quality of life Ensuring new development is sustainable, contributes positively to the built, historic and natural environment of the plan area.  New development will achieve a balance between development and protecting important green spaces.   Objective 2 – Community well-being Building on the strong sense of community across the plan area and recognising the diverse needs of existing and future residents. Supporting the provision of different types of housing that people can afford and meet identified needs, including those of an ageing population.  Ensuring the local community have access to the services and facilities they need.   Objective 3 – Local economy Supporting both existing and the creation of new employment opportunities across the plan area, as well as protecting and enhancing the vitality and viability of the town centre.   Objective 4 – Accessibility Promoting access to sustainable modes of transport, to connect local communities to the services and facilities which they require.  Whilst ensuring the environmental quality of the plan area is protected by effectively managing traffic.  


Draft planning policy themes

Draft areas for potential planning policies have been identified under each of the relevant objectives.

Quality of life

Sustainable development:

  • Overarching policy setting out what the presumption in favour of sustainable development means within the plan area;
  • Promoting good quality design in new development to ensure new development reflects the character, scale, layout, mass, materials etc of the area;
  • Manage the location of new development and identify what development can take place in the open countryside.

Natural environment:

  • Protecting/ enhancing green infrastructure assets;
  • Protecting/ enhancing biodiversity;
  • Identification of areas of local green space and protected open space.

Built and historic environment:

  • Listed buildings;
  • Conservation Area.

Community well-being

Housing:

  • Supporting infill development within the settlement boundary;
  • Rural exceptions site policy – to identify when development could take place outside the settlement boundary

Community services and facilities:

  • Protection and enhancement of community services and facilities

Local economy

  • Support for employment development;
  • Enhancing the vitality and viability of the town centre.

Accessibility

  • Active travel routes – routes used by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. They can include established pathways and cycle routes, public rights of way, bridle paths and paths of a more informal nature;
  • Transport and new developments.

Draft community action themes

  • Town enhancements;
  • Opportunities to enhance access to leisure facilities
  • Supporting existing local projects;
  • Provision of facilities for older and younger people;
  • Walking opportunities e.g. heritage walks/ health walks and improvements to existing paths;
  • Public toilets.

Your feedback

Q1.  Do you support the draft vision for the neighbourhood plan?  Yes ¨  No  ¨

If you have any comments on the draft vision, or have answered ‘no’ please explain below.

     

Q2.  Do you support the draft objectives for the Neighbourhood Plan? Yes ¨ No ¨

If you have any comments on the draft objectives or have answered ‘no’, please explain below.

     

Q3. Do you support the draft planning policy themes? Yes  ¨ No  ¨

If you have any comments , or have answered ‘no’ please explain below.

     

Q4. Do you support the draft themes for community actions? Yes  ¨ No  ¨

If you have any comments , or have answered ‘no’ please explain below.

     

Q5. Do you feel the Neighbourhood Plan should identify any areas for development or protection e.g. for housing or employment or protected green space. If so, please explain why you feel the area/ site should be identified and also describe its location, it would be helpful if you could attach a map to your response.

       

Q6. Are there any other issues that you feel the Neighbourhood Plan should cover?

       

Please use additional pages if you would like to provide a fuller response.

Following the consultation the town council will establish a steering group to help guide the preparation of the neighbourhood plan.  If you would like to be involved in the steering group please provide your contact details and let us know the reasons why you feel you should become a member.

       

Neighbourhood Planning Documents