Update – May 2019
Now, after some five years work, the Neighbourhood Plan is now complete. It covers many topics but can be divided into three main policy areas, which are further subdivided as follows;
1. Access and Movement Policies
• Improve the pedestrian environment
• The village green
2. Landscape Protection Policies
• Views across village and countryside
• Area of local landscape value
• Design of development in the countryside
• Natural environment in Loose
• Designated local green spaces
3. Design Quality Policies
• Design quality
• Protection & enhancement of the Loose conservation area
Recently, Maidstone Borough Council took it through Regulation 16 stage, when it was proffered to residents and stakeholders in the parish for final comments. There has been considerable liaison with the borough through these later stages.
Following responses, some amendments were made and the plan was submitted by MBC to an independent planning Examiner. He recommended that, subject to some minor amendments, the plan could proceed to a referendum in the parish. These amendments are in hand and when done the plan will presented to the MBC Strategic Planning committee meeting in June for consideration. It should be noted that when a Neighbourhood Plan is “made” it is for the Planning Authority (MBC) to implement.
Given approval is forthcoming, MBC will then organise a referendum (possibly in August) which will seek adoption of the plan with a “yes” or “no” vote by residents of the parish.
The Examiner’s report concludes with the following statement;
“There is no doubt in my view that the Plan reflects the aspirations and objectives of the Loose community for the future development of their community up to 2031”
At this stage Loose Parish Council is confident the plan will be completed within the next three months.
Throughout the period of preparation work on this plan, financial help has been received from central government, Loose amenities and local councillors. For this, they are to be thanked. No LPC precept money has been used in its preparation.
While the plan comes under the banner of the Loose Parish Council, several members of the group working on it are not parish councillors. They are residents giving up their time freely.
Appreciation is also recorded for the sterling work undertaken by the LPC’s consultant – Feria Urbanism.
Finally, it is the community of Loose whose input and comments that have made this Neighbourhood Plan possible.