Wooler residents get bigger say in planning matters following adoption of Neighbourhood Plan

Residents now have more of a say over future developments, following the adoption of a neighbourhood plan.

By Joshua Wright
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 5:18 pm
Wooler High Street.
Picture by Jane Coltman
Wooler High Street. Picture by Jane Coltman

The Wooler Neighbourhood Plan will now form part of the statutory development plan for Northumberland, meaning that future planning decisions in the parish will be made in line with policies in them, unless their are ‘material’ considerations that indicate otherwise.

The plan passed independent examination in May 2020 and was officially adopted, or ‘made’, at a meeting of Northumberland county council’s cabinet. It will now form a key part of the planning process.

The plan was prepared by Wooler Parish Council which was supported throughout the process by the county council’s neighbourhood planning team.

It focuses on a range of planning issues identified by the local community. These include: housing, the local economy, landscape and the natural environment, townscape and heritage, community life, sustainable development and accessibility.

A local referendum held in Wooler parish in June 2021 returned a majority vote in favour of using the plan.

Cllr Colin Horncastle, cabinet member for community services at Northumberland County Council, said: "This neighbourhood plan is testament to the hard work of many dedicated people in this community, and I am very pleased to see it come into effect. It is a positive plan which supports the development the local community has said it would like to see happen in the parish.”

Work is under way on the preparation of neighbourhood plans in over 20 other parishes across Northumberland, while 17 neighbourhood plans are already in place.

The Neighbourhood Planning Team continues to provide dedicated help and practical support to all the local parish councils involved in neighbourhood planning.