At a special meeting of Chandler’s Ford’s Parish Council, Councillors decided to take the opportunity presented to Parish Councils by the Government’s recently enacted Localism Act and take on the responsibility of determining where new housing developments would be located in the Chandler’s Ford Parish area.
Until now identifying sites for housing in Chandler’s Ford has been the responsibility of Eastleigh Borough Council. Under the new Act the coalition Government has decreed that in areas where there is a Parish or Town Council the Parish or Town Council will take the lead on neighbourhood planning. In areas without Parish Councils or a Town Council local people will need to decide which organisation should take the lead on this matter. In some cases local community groups may want to put themselves forward.
With a ‘Neighbourhood Plan’, the Parish or community group will be able to establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood. They will be able to say where new homes and offices should be built and what they should look like. The neighbourhood plan will set a vision for the future, depending upon what local people in the Parish area want.
In addition to its ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ the Parish can produce a ‘Neighbourhood Order’, with this, the Parish can grant planning permission for new buildings it wants to see go ahead. Neighbourhood Development Orders will also allow new homes and offices to be built without developers having to apply for separate planning permission.
Following a presentation from an Eastleigh Borough Planning officer, Parish Councillors considered the Borough Councils Local Plan. Councillors commented on the proposals which they would take into account when preparing their Neighbourhood Plan which they said, might have alternative proposals depending on the views of local people.
After the meeting, Cllr Margaret Atkinson, Chairman of the Chandler’s Ford Parish Council commented, “It was very useful to have the advice from the Eastleigh Borough Planning officer. Especially as at our meeting, Councillors took the first step along the road to giving local people a real say in how the place where they live will be developed over the years ahead.”
“Our first task for this will be to hold a public meeting early in the New Year to invite our parishioners to advise the Parish Council how they would like it to proceed and to say where they think new developments should be located in our Parish. Our new Planning Policy Strategy Committee will then have the advice it needs to commence the task of preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan based in the views expressed, for further consultation and possible updating with local people, before being submitted for approval to the planning inspectorate.”