Herefordshire Council recently sent round a ‘Statement of Community Involvement’ which sets out ‘how and when the local community can become involved in the preparation of the Local Development Documents and in the consideration of planning applications’, and the Parish Council met at an extraordinary meeting to agree a response before the end of the consultation period.
The document seemed to confirm our concerns that when the Neighbourhood Plan gets adopted by Herefordshire Council it is taken completely out of our hands. It is true that we have had a say in the future shaping of our parishes, but the plan leaves room for interpretation – as there is no possible way we can write things into it things that would answer every eventuality.
We therefore believe that Herefordshire Council should strongly encourage all initial planning applicants to contact us in the first instance. This would be an advantage also to the applicant, because if they chose to follow our guidance, we would be more likely to approve of their application when it came before us later in the process.
It will not be apparent for a while yet, but let’s hope that the 2011 Localism Act does not just get lost amongst documentation and committee decisions.
Site adjacent to Valentine Court – Public Consultation
After the last PC meeting I was contacted by Herefordshire Housing; it may be that they would take on the whole site – if they did this then all units would be part of the affordable housing scheme. They have arranged to hold a public consultation in the Parish Hall on Monday 11th April – I would strongly urge anyone (and not just people opposed to the development) to attend.