West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan
A Neighbourhood Plan is a type of planning document, introduced in the Localism Act 2011, which allows local people to have a say in the future growth and development of their community. This Regulation 16 consultationdraft of the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan sets out a number of policies all of which have the aim of preserving the unique characteristics of the parish, whilst welcoming improvements and change that will ensure the vibrancy of the community into the future. We are really pleased with the constructive feedback we received to our Regulation 14 draft of the Neighbourhood Plan and have directly incorporated many of the suggestions received into this latest draft. Policies cover the protection of the countryside and local amenities, support for local businesses and provision of new sustainable housing development. Although construction of homes is a controversial issue, we need new homes to contribute towards the wider need in the district and to ensure a supply of suitable affordable and marketable homes for local residents who wish to stay in the village close to family, friends or employment.
The Plan and its supporting background documents were prepared following significant public consultation by a Steering Group, reporting to West Bergholt Parish Council and consisting of:
- Brian Butcher, Jenny Church, Terry Claydon, Janet Crichton, Rowly Castiglione, John Gili-Ross, Murray Harlow, Jo King, Günter Klaphake, Andrew Savage, Phil Spencer, David Short, Harry Stone, Stuart Thackrah, Bob Tyrell and Laura Walkingshaw.
In addition, the following have made valuable contributions to the work of the Steering Group:
- Phil Cook, Paul Downer, Jacqui Jenner, Austen King, photographers Gail Stubbins & Tony Morris, and the children of Heathlands School responsible for the individual policy chapter icons.
On behalf of the Parish of West Bergholt I would like to thank everyone who has been involved with the project. I would also like to thank the following for their assistance and support:
- Sarah Sapsford and colleagues at the RCCE; Alison Eardley, Planning Consultant during the evidence gathering and analysis stage; Ann Skippers, our Planning Consultant, for giving us the benefit of her vast knowledge and experience in planning and neighbourhood planning, and for extensive help and guidance with drafting documents and policies;
- The Supporting Communities in the Neighbourhood Planning programme, funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government and administered by Locality in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute (including Planning Aid), the Community Development Foundation, Urban Vision, Eden Project and URS; together with Groundwork UK, Community Rights Programme Team, which funded the assistance from Planning Aid and provided grant funding to help with consultants' fees and other aspects of the process;
- Colchester Borough Council officers and Councillors for guidance and encouragement, in particular Cllrs Marcus Harrington, Dennis Willets, Brian Jarvis and Lewis Barber and Officers Rachel Forkin, Sandra Scott and Shelley Blackaby.
Finally, the Parish Council and the Steering Group would like to thank all those residents and those who work within the parish, and indeed those organisations who do not, who have participated in the public consultation events, responded to the surveys and shown support for the Neighbourhood Plan.
Chris Stevenson Chair, Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group & West Bergholt Parish Council, November 2018