Futures Forum: The emerging Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan > providing ‘vital data’ to inform the Port Royal scoping study > using evidence collected to submit a ‘substantial objection’ to the Knowle planning inquiry
Futures Forum: The emerging Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan > boosting affordable housing > protecting green spaces
The third piece came out last weekend:
Support needed to make Sid Valley community’s ideas a reality
PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 December 2017
The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan logo
It will be up to residents to make ideas revealed by the most comprehensive consultations ever conducted in the Sid Valley into a reality.
The Neighbourhood Plan steering group have drafted a set of ‘community actions’ for all of its seven themes – ranging from creating a networking hub, to a forum to give young people a voice. These will be led by Sidmouth Town Council, in partnership with participating local government, special interest organisations and community groups.
Steering group member Peter Murphy said: “Our consultations were the most comprehensive ever to be conducted in the Sid Valley, including not only every household but also businesses, special interest groups and young people.
“We have potential actions which cover each of our themes: the built and natural environment, housing, Port Royal and eastern town, access and connectivity, economic resilience, and our community.”
Chairman Deirdre Hounsom said the steering group will seek to partner with valley organisations, for example to boost health and social wellbeing, or to improve sports and recreation facilities for youngsters.
Asked how he could see community actions helping to shape the future, Vision Group for Sidmouth chairman Dave Bramley said: “Since its inception in 2005, the Vision Group has had at its heart the notion of retaining the character of Sidmouth while developing it in a sensitive manner.
“One of our initiatives aims to make the Sid Valley self-sustaining in energy and SidEnergy has been active in this area for some years. One of the anticipated outcomes from the draft Neighbourhood Plan will be a community action to encourage, for example, the fitting of solar panels on public buildings.
“Among other community actions which may be put forward are such potential projects as a biodiversity action plan. In the Sid Valley, where wildlife interests and ecology are all around us, the concept of eco-corridors is beginning to emerge, where natural habitats and movement corridors for wildlife, typically along rivers and streams may be defined and prevented from fragmentation.”
The Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan is on its way to being classed as ‘emerging’ and will soon carry statutory weight.
Support needed to make Sid Valley community’s ideas a reality | Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald
Here is the full press release:
Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan
In this third article, Steering Group member Peter Murphy looks at Community Actions - another major output of the Neighbourhood Plan which will be published in draft for consultation in the New Year.
He said: “Neighbourhood planning can inspire local people and businesses to consider ways to improve their neighbourhood other than through the development and use of land. Our consultations were the most comprehensive ever to be conducted in the Sid Valley, including not only every household but also businesses, special interest groups, and young people. As a result, we have drafted a set of Community Actions to be taken forward and led by Sidmouth Town Council in partnership with participating local government, special interest organisations and community groups.
We have potential actions which cover each of our Themes; the Built and Natural Environment, Housing, Port Royal and Eastern Town, Access and Connectivity, Economic Resilience and our Community.
As an example, a key area of community interest is the creation of a community and business hub which would encourage networking and the sharing of ideas and resources in the Valley.
Asked about actions relating to Community interests, Chairman Deirdre Hounsom said: “We have identified actions for example which will seek to partner with local organisations to identify priorities for action to improve health and social wellbeing for all. Another is in support of young people, for example to try and contribute to Sports and Recreation facilities by the redevelopment of the skate park in Woolbrook, an action which is already supported by Sidmouth Town Council, and the creation of a forum for the participation of children and young people to have a voice”
Steering Group member Jeremy Woodward asked Dave Bramley, Chairman of the Vision Group, how he could see Community Actions helping to shape the future.
Mr Bramley said “Since its inception in 2005 by the Town Council and SVA, the Vision Group has had at its heart the notion of retaining the character of Sidmouth while developing it in a sensitive manner. Sidmouth gained ‘Transition Town’ status in 2008 and we have helped to launch and develop well-known projects such as the Farmers’ Market and the Science Festival.
One of our initiatives aims to make the Sid Valley self-sustaining in energy and the SidEnergy Group has been active in this area for some years. One of the anticipated outcomes from the draft Neighbourhood Plan will be a ‘Community Action’ to encourage, for example, the fitting of solar panels on public buildings.
Amongst other Community Actions which may be put forward in the draft Neighbourhood Plan which the Vision Group hopes to help take through are such potential projects as putting together a Biodiversity Action Plan
In the Sid Valley where wildlife interests and ecology are all around us, the concept of Eco-Corridors is beginning to emerge, where natural habitats and movement corridors for wildlife, typically along rivers and streams may be defined and prevented from fragmentation.
For further information contact Deirdre Hounsom, Chair, Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan at email@example.com or by phone: 07970 814568 add in NP website
NeighbourHood Plan - Sidmouth Town Council
Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan – Shaping our Future Together
Meanwhile, here is a piece from The Planner which puts the neighbourhood planning process into context - that it's all about a 'continuing process':
“Engagement in neighbourhood planning needs to be designed, communicated and embraced as a continuing process”
Town planners understand that one is unable to rest on the plan alone and if the LPA cannot demonstrate an adequate housing land supply, neighbourhood plan policies and allocations could also be undermined.
Many neighbourhood plans are becoming out of date owing to wider changes in planning – including the government’s aim to boost housing. They are likely to require substantial modification, necessitating the neighbourhood to repeat the whole process because the plan needs to speak for the wider community and be robust and deliverable. Funding is available for groups and the LPA to support this process and it should be quicker the second time round – but I doubt that will reassure many about the benefits of neighbourhood planning.
Engagement in neighbourhood planning needs to be designed, communicated and embraced as a continuing process.
Otherwise, groups could find that over time government and local authority objectives will have more influence and their own willingness to engage may erode.
Kat Salter is an independent consultant and PhD researcher at the University of Reading