Neighbourhood Plan

 

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Our town is going through some pretty major changes!

*UPDATE JUNE 2022*

I thought I would provide an update from the point of when the Draft Neighbourhood Plan was subject to a six-week statutory public consultation back in August/ September last year, as I appreciate all seems to have gone quiet.
A survey form was produced to collect community feedback on the draft neighbourhood plan. Respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the neighbourhood plans vision/aims and each of the neighbourhood plan’s policies. They were also asked if they had any additional comments on any specific elements of the plan or any general comments and feedback relating to the neighbourhood plan.


There were also opportunities for people to attend a drop-in consultation event. The details of the drop-in events were included on all publicity. Three events were held at varying times. At the events there was the opportunity to view copies of the draft neighbourhood plan. A consultation survey could be completed at the event, or a paper copy taken away along with a FREEPOST return envelope. Members of the neighbourhood plan steering group and the neighbourhood plan support officer from Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BedsRCC) were at the events to answers any questions.


The 3 drop-in events held were as follows:
- Wednesday 18th August, 1pm – 4pm at The Visitor Centre, Houghton Hall Park
- Saturday 4th September, 12 noon onwards at Houghton Rocks, Parkside Recreation Ground
- Saturday 11th September, 10am – 2pm in Bedford Square
In line with Regulation 14 criteria and as advised by Central Bedfordshire Council, the draft plan was also sent for comment to a number of statutory consultees.


We received 252 responses to the survey in total. 235 of these responses were received online and 17 were from returned paper copies of the survey.


All comments received by the end of the consultation period are still being considered by the neighbourhood planning steering group, and a planning judgement will be taken. At the end of 2021, the Town Council’s Planning Consultant decided he could no longer support the group and a new consultant was sought.


Due to work commitments of the newly appointed planning consultant, work on amending the plan in response to the comments received, and the reasoning behind the decision, had been delayed. I am pleased to report that work has picked up again and the plan is being reworked as I type this update. Once all modifications have been made the neighbourhood planning steering group will then agree these modifications and approve the resulting draft of the plan for ratification by Houghton Regis Town Council. Due to the nature of the revisions, and some new material required by a recent change in the law, the revised plan will have to go out for a second public consultation. Once that has happened (and any amendments made) it will then be submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council.


After submission, responsibility for taking the process forward lies with Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC). CBC will publicise the plan (Regulation 16) and arrange for an independent examination. The
independent examination will consider whether the neighbourhood plan meets the basic conditions and other legal requirements. If successful at the examination stage, with modifications if necessary, then the local authority will arrange for a neighbourhood plan referendum. All individuals on the electoral register within the Neighbourhood Plan area will be invited to vote on whether the Neighbourhood Plan should be adopted. If there is a majority yes vote, then the neighbourhood plan is made and becomes part of the statutory development plan for the area.


Finally, let me, as chair of the Steering Group, express my deepest appreciation to all the members of the group, past and present for their commitment on this project. Thank you all for the time and effort you have put and are putting in, I believe it will be well worth it and that it will give us all a much bigger say in the future of our town.


David Gibbons Chair, Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

Click here for:  Draft Neighbourhood Plan

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The expansion that happened in the 1960’s changed Houghton Regis from a small village into a town, but a town that was more like a large village. The changes currently proposed will change it into a large town.

In order to cope and prosper, many other things will need to change, and it is only fair and right that the people most affected—those who live and/or work in the town—should have a say in those changes.

You can also click on the link below which will take you to the Facebook Page where you can join the group to keep up to date with all the latest information...

https://www.facebook.com/groups/HRNPLAN/

 

If you would like to be part of this process,

please contact the Town Council on 01582 708544 or email debbie.marsh@houghtonregis.org.uk

 

Background

Committee Functions

Opening meeting Minutes 26th September 2017

Co-optees Agreement & Application Form

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