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The Localism Act 2011 introduced a number of measures allowing
communities to shape the future of their area and to deliver the
sustainable development that they need. One of these measures is
the Neighbourhood Plan. This is a new type of planning document,
which can set policies for the use of land detailing the
expectations of the community and the quality and type of
development sought. A Neighbourhood Plan must comply with a
higher-level planning policy at district, national and European
level and must be based on evidence. Following community
consultation, it will be examined by an independent examiner and
must be approved by residents at a local referendum. The made or
adopted plan will become part of the development plan for the
local area and will be used in determining planning applications
A Neighbourhood Plan cannot be used to stop development. There
is a requirement for new homes nationally and every
Neighbourhood Plan must plan for new growth.
West Bergholt Parish Council resolved to prepare a plan so
that the community could work together to shape the future of
the village and have a say about where new homes should go and
what they should look like, how the local economy should be
supported, how the countryside and open spaces of the village
should be protected and how local facilities and infrastructure
could be improved.
The Parish Council, although the sponsoring body for the
Neighbourhood Plan, recognised that the wider community had to
play a major role in producing the plan and so agreed that a
Steering Group made up of Parish Council representatives and
people from the community be set up to write the plan and
consult upon it.
A Neighbourhood Plan has a number of functions. In a strict
planning sense, it relates to the use and development of land
and, in this sense, its primary purpose is to help in deciding
future land allocations for a variety of uses, notably, but not
exclusively, housing and subsequently planning applications in
the Plan Area. However, it is also an opportunity to cover in a
holistic sense a great deal more. Communities have manifold
needs and a Neighbourhood Plan allows these needs to be set out
in a way that the community can plan for priorities that it
feels need addressing, everything in fact from sport to
transport! Thus, the Neighbourhood Plan for West Bergholt will
be a successor to the current Parish Plan and will contain
separately identified aspirations and ideas that go beyond the
strict planning and development remit of the Neighbourhood Plan.
These are called the Community Ambitions.
West Bergholt as a community resides in a locality which has a
common cultural and historical heritage, shares common
characteristics and interests and perceives itself distinct in
many respects from the larger community of Colchester. The
community's aspirations are to maintain and enhance its
community feel and environment, its housing and businesses and
the safety of the community, setting these out as Community
Localism provides the opportunity for local decisions to be
made by local people. As long as it can be demonstrated that the
Neighbourhood Plan is inclusive and deals with potential and
planned growth, then there is no reason why it would not be
agreeable to the community when submitted for referendum or by
Colchester Borough Council, which must approve the plan.
The purpose of this document is therefore to:
The Neighbourhood Plan therefore:
The West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan will be for the period
from 2018 to 2033.
Following an application to Colchester Borough Council to
designate the parish of West Bergholt as a Neighbourhood Plan
area, a statutory consultation was held in June 2013. No
objections were forthcoming and the plan was confirmed and is
Neighbourhood Plan Area