And for the sceptics among us...

The Neighbourhood Plan may not strike anyone as the sexiest thing around town -when was Planning, ever! - so why do some of us bother giving a lot of time and energy to it?

The answer is: because we see the potential of what an NP can achieve for the good of Wivenhoe.
And to show what can be achieved by an NP, here is a document that gives examples of how some finished NPs translated residents' expressed wishes for their environment into enforceable planning policies. This isn't airy-fairy stuff.

Work on the Wivenhoe NP has an estimated 12-18 months to go.
While we remain without our own plan, we remain vulnerable to developers' ideas of what Wivenhoe should look like.
With more people to help, some of the work could be done more quickly.


  • Ahh, the entertainment value of cynicism - especially when expressed in such delightful prose :)!

    The Belle Vue Rd example is actually quite a good one of what could NOT have happened if some of the proposed NP policies had already been in force.
  • Christmas?
  • Well said Martin
  • I can't see your alternative suggestion, Martin?  The Neighbourhood Plan is a tool for protection of sites of high priority and value to residents.  It is not as useless as nothing at all.  
  • edited December 2014
    @Martin_Newell said:

    "This town's best meetings-junkies couldn't even prevent, stall, or even modify the rapine currently being visited upon Bellevue Road, next to the old cemetery.  Someone who attended the planning meeting a few months ago at the Council Chambers told me, "They just waved it through, as if it were a foregone conclusion."
    Mmm - that's not quite true.

    The CBC Planning Committee met on 10 April to consider the application. It wasn't just waved through. Over half an hour of debate took place.

    You can listen over here.

    It's towards the end of the agenda, starting at roughly 1'59", taking up the remainder of the meeting. 
  • "There is no point in discussing it further" is often a rearguard response in itself.

    Once again - this wasn't just waved through. Planning protocol took place. CBC Planning had a half hour discussion. The debate about traffic implications was particularly interesting, if that's your kind of thing.

    Waving through is making a decision with no debate.

    A debate took place here.
  • Hmmm...  Although I don't wish to pour cold water on all the hard work undertaken by people on the Neighbourhood Plan, I would be surprised to find that 'NP policies' carry enough clout to prevent the likes of the Bellevue Road development.

    Dump me in the cynics bin with Martin if you like, but my reading of the legislation is akin to his: if you have a NP in place, then it gives you some extra cash as compensation for developments, but doesn't act as a barrier to prevent them.  If we believe otherwise, we're heading for a nasty shock...
  • Martin created and populated the cynics bin, you'll have to ask him if you can join him in the outhouse of inanity.
  • Looks like I'm joining him as well.
  • @Puffin, not sure how you can doubt the 'clout' of NPs - if you looked at the examples linked to in the OP?

  • Yeah well, if you want to discuss that, @wivenhoebuoy, perhaps best start another thread.
    Meanwhile, if anyone who did read the document wants to become involved with the Plan they'd be very welcome at the next steering group meeting on Wednesday 7 January, 7.30 pm at the Town Council offices.
  • Time will tell, Maybe. too late. Government policy changes all the time.
  • edited March 2015
    Here's something that shows Neighbourhood Plans aren't rubbish:

    Edited to add the text you cannot see on the link:
    Developer Ivan Crane objected after he was refused planning permission to build 111 homes, a sports hall, a neighbourhood centre, sports pitches and landscaping on a 14-hectare greenfield site off Crowfoot Way, Broughton Astley.
    His application was rejected by Harborough District Council, and subsequently by a planning inspector and communities secretary Eric Pickles primarily on the basis that it conflicted with the recently adopted Broughton Astley neighbourhood plan.

    A decision letter issued on behalf of Pickles said the inspector acknowledged the housing land allocation policies covering the area were out of date and that Crane's plans would "make an important contribution" to meeting unmet demand for new homes.
    However, he ruled that the proposals would have a "moderately harmful effect" on the area's character and appearance and particularly highlighted the conflict with the neighbourhood plan, in which the site was not one of those earmarked for housing development.
    In dismissing Crane's appeal against the secretary of state's decision, the High Court rejected claims that he had misconstrued and placed too much weight on the provisions of the neighbourhood plan.
    Although Crane's plans would add usefully to the area's supply of housing land, Mr Justice Lindblom described the minister's decision as "unassailable" and "wholly unimpeachable".
    The neighbourhood plan, he ruled, was rightly treated as "a powerful and decisive factor" against a grant of planning consent.
  • Case boosts locals’ say on developments

    Towns and villages will have more chance of fighting off unwanted new housing developments after developer Gladman Developments lost a test case in Winslow. Gladman has withdrawn its legal challenge against a "neighbourhood plan" drawn up by the residents of Winslow, which determined where new homes should be built. The developer wanted Winslow to double in size to 4,000 homes, however, 98% of local people voted in favour of a plan under which only 450 homes would be built. Gladman initially tried to prevent the residents from voting on the plan by seeking an injunction to prevent a local referendum from taking place. After losing that case, Gladman challenged the legality of the plan at the High Court. A judge dismissed the case in December, but last month the company made an appeal against that decision. The developer has now withdrawn the appeal, meaning that Winslow’s plan will be used to decide where new homes should be built. Llew Monger of Aylesbury Vale District Councilsaid the result will “hopefully encourage many other communities to embark on developing a neighbourhood plan.”

    The Times, Page: 21

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  • There is a lot of research going into where are the most sustainable places for some building in the town by the Neighbourhood plan voluntary group on behalf of WTC and residents. Residents are being invited and enabled to make an informed decision about the possibilities.  I will wait to find out the views of all residents and do my best to represent them.
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