What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan can help the community to ensure that it develops in a sustainable manner. It can deliver a whole range of economic, social and environmental benefits. A plan for the neighbourhood area (often town/parish) often includes polices that inform planning decisions regarding development proposals. The Town Council has started the process to create a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) for St Ives. When complete and adopted following a local referendum, it becomes a legal document that can be used to help determine local planning applications.
The first stage is to agree the area covered by the Neighbourhood Plan, which in this case will match the boundary of the Town Council. The Town Council is very much aware that the built up area of St Ives already extends beyond our boundary, so close liaison with adjacent Parishes will be important as the plan develops. Houghton and Wyton Parish Council already have a plan and Hemingford Grey Parish Council are intending to produce a plan but NPs are not allowed to overlap. Once the area is accepted by Huntingdonshire District Council than work on the NP can start.
The first step is to obtain information about the state of St Ives which will help identify some of the key issues that the NP might address, for example, how many people are on the housing waiting list, how many empty shops and offices are there in St Ives. One we have that key data, we can start the important consultation process, not just with the public but with key stakeholders within the town. People will be able to talk to the NP team at forthcoming councillor surgeries but also look out for questionnaires and public consultations.