It has been several months since my last update on our Neighbourhood Development Plan, but that does not mean that we have been idle.
Much of the delay in finalising our Plan for submission to the Inspection and Referendum stages has been for reasons over which we have had no control. It must be appreciated that our Plan has to be compliant with the Cornwall Local Plan, particularly in some very important issues which surround our Housing Policies.
A great deal of work has gone into this in recent months.
Matters such as agreeing the number which forms our “fair share” of the overall requirement for new dwellings envisaged across the whole of Cornwall to the year 2030. The requirement and need for new development in the “affordable homes” bracket and considerations of size and siting of any new development proposals. Balancing these with the expressed aspirations and wishes of you, as Parishioners has taken a lot of time and effort on the part of many people within both the Parish Council’s team and Cornwall Council.
Some towns and parishes who pushed through their own Neighbourhood Plans before the Cornwall Local Plan was finally approved in November 2016, have found that they are now having to re-visit their Housing Policies and are having them challenged by prospective developers as they are not compliant with the Cornwall Local Plan in matters such as projected housing figures and that whole elements of their housing policies are inaccurate or inappropriate.
To avoid having to possibly revise some elements of our Plan, which would have been a time consuming and costly process, we took the decision to delay until matters relating to Housing and one or two other aspects were much clearer.
I am very pleased to report that, since Christmas, we have been able to make further significant progress and that our Plan is now back on track and progressing towards the time when you, our Parishioners, will be asked at a Referendum to vote on its adoption.
Full details of this will be posted in due course but meanwhile, please be assured that we have not forgotten the Plan, in fact most of our current projects from our Local Transport Scheme to our Feock Trails Project, our new Health and Wellbeing agenda and our stance on large new development proposals and others, all stem from your ideas and your aspirations as expressed in questionnaires and other public consultations within the overall Neighbourhood Plan process. So even before our Plan is adopted, your voice is being heard and listened to by your Parish Council in formulating and developing the many and varied projects which we take forward on your behalf.
It has been an immense amount of work for a small but dedicated number of Parish Councillors and members of the local community and I must give special mention to our Parish Clerk, Debra Roberts whose patience, understanding, goodwill and overall contribution has been huge throughout this lengthy process.
Chairman, Feock Parish Council