Members of the Sturton Ward Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group have been asked what is happening with the Neighbourhood Plan, with some people in Sturton Ward wondering if the whole idea has simply died or gone away. To reassure everyone, the Neighbourhood Plan is very much alive and is progressing with a lot of work being done ‘behind the scenes’. They are working on the basis that it is better to do things properly (if slowly) rather than rushing things.
The draft Bassetlaw Local Plan was published at the end of 2018 and is being developed further following the public consultations early in 2019. This is an important step because the Neighbourhood Plan has to fit into the overall strategy of this Local Plan.
The draft ‘Housing Needs Assessment’ document has been written by AECOM (a consultancy company employed by the government to do this sort of work), and members of the steering group have commented on the findings of this assessment and the final version of this document is expected to be published shortly.
AECOM are also working on the Site Assessments following the ‘Call for Sites’ which they did last year. Bassetlaw District Council, together with Highways and other ‘statutory consultees’ have made their views known and the group are expecting the first draft of this consultation report to be ready in the coming weeks.
There will be a public consultation in all three parishes once this draft report is ready. These consultations are being planned for the end of June / beginning of July.
A third ‘assessment’, also being carried out by AECOM, is for ‘Design and Design Codes’ which will be looking at the characteristics of each of the three parishes and advise on the sort of housing which would be suitable for the selected sites. This work is about to start, with the AECOM consultants involved scheduled to visit the ward in mid-May.
Further public consultations will take place following this ‘assessment’.