Loose Parish Council originally held a public meeting in January 2014 to set up its Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (LNPSG). A group* of nine (4 parish councillors and 4 Loose residents, plus a consultant from the Medway Valley Conservation Partnership) was first established as the LNPSG, which held its first monthly meeting in February. Sue Grigg, the Borough Councillor for Loose, also has regular contact with the group.
N.B. UPDATE-as at Aug 2018: Chairman-Cllr Jim Andrew; Vice Chair-Terry McKeown (voting Co-Opted member); Cllr Vianne Gibbons (Chairman to the LPC); Peter Gardner (Co-Opted voting member); Peter Rigby (Parish Councillor); Tony Oliver (Parish Councillor); Tom Oliver (Parish Councillor). Reg Langford (advisor)
Steering Group meetings
Steering group meetings have been held during the past five years and have all been open to the public, and an opportunity for the public to speak, if they wish to, has always been made available.
The group is coming towards the final stages of the project.
Loose Neighbourhood Plan
What is a Neighbourhood Plan (NP)?
The Loose Neighbourhood Plan (NP) which will cover the parish of Loose, will embody a vision for the area for the next 15 years or so. A NP, first and foremost, controls the use of land and buildings. It can influence development, housing, housing design, protect and enhance community facilities, protect important local green spaces and the historic environment, and can affect transport and employment. It will have statutory force and once the process has concluded, it will then be taken into account in all planning matters to which it pertains.
Throughout the preparation of the plan it is important that the content is drawn from the parish community. This involves meetings, consultations, questionnaires, workshops allowing everyone to participate, so that local needs and desires are identified and reflected. It is important that the NP does not conflict with the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (MBLP) which is now in place.
Loose has now finalised its draft NP and sought approval by Maidstone Borough Council. Approval of the draft will also be required by an independent examiner, who is currently reviewing the document. An initial set of questions were raised by the examiner in January 2019. A meeting was held on the 16 Jan 2019. Click here for the responses from that meeting.
Now that the plan has been approved, it is the subject of a referendum by Loose voters. If the referendum is carried, the NP will become a statutory planning document to sit alongside the MBLP to form a planning framework.