Our AGM on 31st March was well attended. More than sixty residents sacrificed a warm sunny evening to find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan, which has reached a critical stage in its development. In addition Rev. Canon Nigel Lloyd introduced some interesting and ambitious ideas for St. John’s Church.
The Draft Neighbourhood plan has evolved considerably since the area-wide consultation last June and is almost ready for the next major hurdle, a Public Inquiry. But before this can take place we have to give residents an opportunity to comment. This consultation is a statutory requirement and must last a minimum of six weeks. We started this consultation on 13th April and it closes on Tuesday 31st May. Please use this opportunity to complete a survey form and have your say.
The Draft Plan and various supporting documents can be accessed on-line by visiting the Neighbourhood Forum’s consultation page: broadstoneneighbourhood.uk/consultation. The survey form is also on-line and accessed using broadstoneneighbourhood.uk. We have taken every precaution to make sure the form can be completed and submitted very easily. For those who prefer to use paper the documents and survey forms are available in both Broadstone Library (where there is also a small exhibition) and the reception area of Poole Planning Services at the Civic Centre. We are also happy to receive comments by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Following this consultation all comments will be noted and used to further refine the plan before finally submitting it to the Borough of Poole. From that point onwards it becomes the responsibility of the Council to arrange a further consultation followed by the Public Inquiry and finally a referendum. If the plan overcomes these hurdles it becomes a statutory planning document which has to be taken into account by Poole’s planning officers and developers.
The crucial point to remember is that no change is not an option. The Government has recently made a number of modifications to planning rules which make it easier for developers to build with fewer constraints. As a result, Broadstone is already seeing a number of new applications which will potentially change the Broadway. Other applications could impact on Broadstone’s residential areas. Without a Neighbourhood Plan in place it would be very difficult to control many future developments. With an approved plan there is a greater opportunity to manage development and to protect the best of what exists. Less well performing areas could even be enhanced. We hope the policies we are proposing have hit the right balance and so gain residents’ approval.
The policies cover five main themes: protecting and enhancing green space and wild life corridors; managing housing development; preparing for climate change; improving access and movement, and sustaining economic viability. These were all regarded as being of great importance by residents during our initial consultations.