THE BURNESIDE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
‘Paving the way for the success of our draft Neighbourhood Plan’
Our Project Plan – from October 2013 onwards
Burneside Parish Council has recognised that we would benefit strongly from having a Neighbourhood Plan.
Before making this important decision, the project team consulted with our local authorities and other agencies that work with communities on the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans.
Our parish council has given this plan priority and allocated resources to guide the plan through the eight steps (see below).
A project group, comprising our parish council, the Vision Group and other local people, are working together to achieve our vision.
The project group has recognised that in order to achieve our objective of producing an inclusive neighbourhood plan, we need to have in place a robust project plan. This plan must deliver our vision. We have, so far, identified four key objectives. These are seen as the foundation for a neighbourhood plan that is crucial to the sustainability and well-being of our community within the boundary of Strickland Roger and Strickland Ketel i.e. the Parish of Burneside.
Our Project Plan is the mechanism whereby, through effective communication and consultation with our community and stakeholders, we can deliver a plan that is both inspiring and sustainable.
‘Our Vision, both now and in the future, is to develop a safe, prosperous and sustainable environment, where we can all live happy, healthy and crime-free lives, within a spectacular landscape; based on our heritage, shared values and unique character as a community’
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN OBJECTIVES (these are the four key priority areas that have been identified, so far, as being the basis for consultation and communication, in preparation of our neighbourhood plan)
- ⎫ Planning and Development: To develop a vibrant and prosperous neighbourhood by encouraging appropriate sustainable development that supports quality jobs, businesses, shops, services and facilities; whilst ensuring that any development meets the needs of local people, protects the environment, enhances landscape and contributes to the quality of our lives.
- ⎫ Traffic and Transport: To resolve long-standing traffic and transport issues, to create a safer and healthier environment for all. To enhance existing public transport links and to create new and sustainable routes for pedestrians, as well as other ‘green’ transport initiatives.
- ⎫ Services and Facilities: To enhance our local services and facilities and develop new environmental projects that contribute to a self-sufficient neighbourhood where there is less reliance on travel to other service areas;
- ⎫ Recreation and Leisure: To resolve issues in relation to our existing, traditional sports and leisure facilities. To create new opportunities that are both innovative and inclusive, to promote the health and well-being for all, including a renewed sense of ‘community’ and participation.
THE AIM OF THE PROJECT PLAN
To produce a Neighbourhood Plan for Burneside parish that is based on our Vision. This plan will be based on the aspirations and opinions of our community. Evidence will be gathered that will be representative of our community. This is to ensure that we have an appropriate, sustainable planning and development approach in our parish that is close in partnership with our local government and other agencies.
THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT PLAN
- ⎫ To develop a closer sense of community in our parish, through effective consultation and communication with everyone, to ascertain what we want for the future of our community;
- ⎫ To identify and prioritise the key issues, under the four main objective headings;
- ⎫ To develop, examine and gather evidence in relation to the key issues;
- ⎫ To work closely with the support agencies and our local government partners, to effectively consider our options, in order to address the key issues identified;
- ⎫ To produce a draft neighbourhood plan that reflects the key issues and is based on firm evidence and engagement;
- ⎫ The draft Neighbourhood Plan will be an inspirational and sustainable plan that will pass examination by an external adjudicator; and
- ⎫ To produce a Neighbourhood Plan that will ultimately pass a local referendum.
The BURNESIDE eight step approach to our project planning:
- 1. Getting started.
- 2. Identifying the issues.
- 3. Develop a vision and objective.
- 4. Generate options (consultation and communication).
- 5. Draft our Neighbourhood Plan.
- 6. Consultation and Submission.
- 7. Independent examination.
- 8. REFERENDUM to adopt the Plan.
The Neighbourhood Plan process has been set in motion. We have moved to:
The Project Team has already identified the four key priority areas (shown above) that form our Neighbourhood Plan objectives. These form the basis for community consultation and engagement.
We have a vision and have develop the objectives from the four key priority areas.
This is probably most important stage of our project. This is where we commence both informal and formal consultation with our community, partners and stakeholders. This will be achieved by working in partnership with those agencies that have experience and expertise in community engagement. However, the project team will be integral to the consultation process. In essence, everybody will be part of the project team, to one degree or another.
We plan to engage with our community in a variety of ways:
- ⎫ Initial publicity. This includes local newsletters, our community website, and our Facebook page.
- ⎫ Leaflet. This will be widely circulated to as many individuals, clubs and organisations as possible, preferably through a face to face introduction. Everyone will be invited to register their interest and volunteer their help.
- ⎫ The Project Team and local volunteers will meet with our partners, stakeholders, local businesses and organisations.
- ⎫ A series of workshops, surgeries, drop in sessions and informal discussions will be organised so everyone has the opportunity to be heard. All these ‘events’ will have a clear structure and organisation and will be led by a variety of people, both internally and externally sourced.
We will examine the results of this consultation and consider the options and issues put forward. These will form the basis of our draft Neighbourhood Plan.
We will consult widely on the draft Neighbourhood Plan, particularly with our partners in local government and other agencies.
The results of this process will be circulated to the local community with opportunities to respond further to the issues identified.
Our draft Neighbourhood Plan will then go for independent, external examination.
If successful our Neighbourhood will go to a local referendum. A 50% Yes vote will result in the Plan being adopted as a legal document. This will provide our vision for the future and will influence and inform future planning and development, in the four key priority areas.
REVIEWING AND MONITORING THE PROJECT
At each stage and throughout the project, the project team, in partnership with others will continually monitor and review progress, together with close consideration of the issues raised through community engagement and consultation.
We will enlist the skills of professional advisors, who are experienced in the production of neighbourhood plans. We will also work closely with our partners, particularly local government, who will provide us with a wider perspective and advice on planning and development issues.
We will ask members of our community to assess the effectiveness of consult consultation, as well as ensuring that the project team is developing a draft neighbourhood plan that is truly reflective of local opinion.
THE TIMETABLE UP TO THE ADOPTION OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
The project team has already spent at least twelve months considering the need for a neighbourhood for our community. More recently the team has been preparing the groundwork for developing the plan, hence the production of this project plan.
The project team envisage that the community engagement process, which has already commenced in part, will take at least eight months to complete. This will allow for full consultation, within our community, as well as our partners and stakeholders.
A full programme of community engagement ‘events’ will be produced in the form of a communication plan, which is separate to the project plan.
COMPLETION DATE: End of May 2014
The production of the Draft Neighbourhood Plan, together with further consultation with all involved, will last for a minimum of three months. However, the project team are allowing for a four month process to complete the Draft.
COMPLETION DATE: End of September 2014
There will be no timescale set for the independent examination, the community referendum and eventual adoption of the plan, as this is out of our control to some extent.
RISKS AND CONSTRAINTS
It is recognised that a plan on this scale will produce issues that will require a great deal of community cooperation and understanding. The project will demand a great deal of us all.
The Project Team is determined that this plan allows our community to grow and develop, along with the plan itself. This is an opportunity for us all to gain a much greater sense of community and a shared vision for our future. We have been empowered through the Localism Act to become much more involved in local planning and development. This is our opportunity to influence how we want to live, work and play.
To achieve this will require us all to compromise on certain issues, whilst always being respectful of each other and our views. In fact, this principle will guide and influence all community engagement.
The risks and constraints so far identified are:
- • Capacity of the project team to fulfil its terms of reference.
- • Lack of community involvement or apathy.
- • Consensus amongst our community.
- • Lack of adequate funding internally and externally.
- • Lack of expertise throughout the entire process or for elements of it.
- • Failure to draft an effective plan.
- • Unsuccessful external examination.
- • A successful No vote at the referendum.
We have already reached the end of Step Three. We are now at the crucial and most important stage of our project. This is where the community will be involved from now until the adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan. Even then there will be much work to do to achieve our vision. This is our blueprint for the future.
There has been a great deal of work put into this project by members of our community. Now the onus is on everybody to contribute.
The Project Team is tasked with guiding this plan to fruition. The team will provide an audit trail for the entire project, which will be available for public scrutiny. The team will endeavour, to the best of its ability, to effectively communicate listen and respond to everybody. The team will also learn and develop as they progress the plan, mainly by using the services of community monitors and external Friends of the Burneside Neighbourhood Plan. The team will encourage positive, critical responses throughout.
We have the strong support of our partners. We have sound professional help and advice from various agencies throughout the process. We also have both the financial and human resources to achieve the success of our plan.
We are endeavouring the lead the way in South Lakeland and be exemplars of Neighbourhood Planning.
Wish us all luck!
by Tony Hill
24 September 2013
for more information . . . see panel, top right