Neighbourhood plan passes test and enters final stages

Mayor of Alnwick Bill Grisdale. 'Picture by Jane Coltman
Mayor of Alnwick Bill Grisdale. 'Picture by Jane Coltman

The Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan is about to be submitted to the county council for the final stages before a referendum is held to decide if residents agree with the plan’s proposals.

As part of signing off the plan for submission, Alnwick Town Council has had to put the plan through an assessment stage to make sure that its policies and proposals will help achieve development and change in the town that meets sustainability principles.

Sustainability is all about making sure we can meet the town’s needs now without harming the chance of future generations of townsfolk to meet their own needs. The assessment looks at how the plan will impact on the local environment, on the local economy and on our quality of life.

The Environmental Report explains how the plan performed in the Sustainability Assessment and the policies and proposals all work well when tested against 12 sustainability objectives. Now that the Environmental Report has been prepared, the town council must give the opportunity to comment on it. So if you would like to comment, visit the home page of the plan website.

There is a comment form on the website and comments need to be in by Friday, July 24. If you require a paper version of the report, contact Bill Batey, Alnwick Town Council, 27 Fenkle Street, Alnwick, NE66 1HW, with your postal address and one will be sent out to you.

Bill Grisdale, Alnwick’s Mayor and chairman of the group preparing the plan, said: “I am delighted that the Neighbourhood Plan has passed the Sustainability Assessment with flying colours and that the plan’s policies and proposals are likely to have a positive benefit on the environment, economy and quality of life within the town.

“We listened carefully to the comments received last summer on the draft plan and have made adjustments to the plan ready for submission at the end of July and the results of the Environmental Report are an endorsement of the hard work carried out by volunteers working on the plan.”

Neighbourhood plans, brought in under the Government’s Localism Act, are the local level of the new planning system. If accepted, they form part of development control along with the county council’s core strategy and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).