NHP Update May 2015

Neighbourhood Plans (NP) enable communities to play a much stronger role in shaping their local areas. They give local people an opportunity to set out a positive vision for how they want their community to develop over the next 15 or 20 years – and then to put in place policies that will help to deliver that vision.

Nearly 1300 communities, covering over 5 million people, have started the long and difficult NP process, which typically takes at least 2 years. So far, only 44 NPs have been completed and adopted.

Over the last year a steering group of Parish Councillors and residents has been working hard on preparing a NP for the Parish of Loose.

Since last month’s update we have:

had a useful meeting with Maidstone Borough Council in which we discussed the progress we’ve made and our next steps
prepared a detailed project plan for the rest of the process
been given a further grant by the Loose Amenities Association, and support from our local County Councillor for further funding from KCC
created a Loose Neighbourhood Plan page on Facebook for users to visit and comment on,  and also started to prepare a dedicated website for those who don’t use Facebook

We will shortly be appointing a consultant to help us with the technical aspects of our future work, which is likely to continue until well into next year.

One of the key principles of a NP is that it must reflect the views of local people. We have already carried out a questionnaire survey of all households in the Parish, and held two major consultation events. We will now be drawing up specific proposals and running further consultations during the rest of this year.

Look out for regular updates, which will give you details of progress and how and when you can comment on proposals. The more people that do so the stronger the final Plan will be.

In the meantime, if you would like to contribute any views, or join our team of volunteer helpers, please contact Jan Capon, Clerk to the Parish Council at loosepc@btconnect.com   (tel 01622 692712)