Neighbourhood Plan

Barton-le-Clay Neighbourhood Plan

Welcome to the Barton-le-Clay Neighbourhood Plan pages. Here you will find up to date information about the Plan and the progress towards it being adopted.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Put simply, a neighbourhood plan is a set of planning policies, determined and adopted by local people, that add detail to the planning policies set at national, regional and district level. It has mandatory status and must be followed when planning applications are considered by the planning authority – Central Bedfordshire Council is the planning authority for Barton-le-Clay.

What is Neighbourhood Planning?

The 2011 Localism Act gave local communities the opportunity to have a say in how they would like their local environment to look in the future. By creating a Neighbourhood Plan, a community can ensure that their views will be listened to.

A Neighbourhood Plan is a community-led framework for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area.  A neighbourhood plan is about the use and development of land and 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 issues only.

A Neighbourhood Plan will be part of the statutory development plan for the area, if successful at referendum. This statutory status gives Neighbourhood Plans far more weight than some other local documents, such as parish plans, community plans and village design statements.

A Neighbourhood Plan must comply with national legislation and must have appropriate regard to national policy and be in general conformity with existing strategic local planning policy.  It should not promote less development than that identified in the development plan for the local area (such as new housing allocations).  It can allow greater growth levels.  Also, it can specify policies and guidance on how new development should be designed, orientated and located.  Neighbourhood Plans can be a powerful tool in shaping the development of a neighbourhood.  The timeframe for the Neighbourhood Plan is for communities to decide, for example whether it is a 5, 10, 15 or 20-year plan

Once a Neighbourhood plan has been completed, it will have to be submitted to the local authority and then be subjected to an independent examination. This will make sure that the proper legal process has been followed and that the plan meets the basic conditions, including general conformity with strategic local policy.  Neighbourhood Plans are subject to a public referendum. Once plans have been subjected to an independent examination and any necessary modifications made to ensure they meet important legal requirements, it is necessary to gain a more than 50% ‘yes’ vote of those voting in a public referendum in order to bring them into force.

Neighbourhood Plans carry legal weight in the planning system and once adopted, they form part of the Local Plan.

Who draws up a Neighbourhood Plan?

Usually a Neighbourhood Plan Committee is established with representation from the area covered by the plan.
Barton-le-Clay Parish has been designated a Neighbourhood Plan Area; a Neighbourhood Plan Committee, comprising volunteers and parish councillors, was set up in 2012 and started to gather all the necessary evidence and to test thoughts and ideas in the wider community. The Plan was put on hold in 2014/15, pending the completion of the Central Bedfordshire Council Local Plan. Now that this has been adopted, the Barton-le-Clay Neighbourhood Plan Committee are re-launching in 2022 to develop the plan for the Village future.

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