Plans are underway to develop a neighbourhood plan for the Mid Coquetdale area of Northumberland.
The first steps have been taken to designate a neighbourhood planning area which will cover the four parishes of Rothbury, Cartington, Thropton, and Whitton and Tosson.
Formal consultation on whether the local community supports this as a suitable area for neighbourhood planning is taking place from December 4 2014 to January 29 2015.
The area proposed covers all four civil parishes and it is intended that Rothbury Parish Council will be designated as the qualifying body for neighbourhood planning purposes, having the largest population of the four.
There is a strong relationship between Rothbury parish and the three adjacent parishes, whose residents use Rothbury’s many services. The parish councils feel that it would be appropriate to prepare local planning policies that can better address the needs and wishes of the local community.
Neighbourhood planning was introduced through the Localism Act in 2011 and gives local communities the opportunity to shape and define how their area should grow and change in the future.
In Northumberland, neighbourhood planning must be led by parish councils and through the plan they can use powers to shape where new homes, shops and offices should be built and say what those new buildings should look like.
Plans must also take into account national planning policy and the policies set out in the Northumberland Local Plan.
Northumberland County Council has a statutory role to play in supporting neighbourhood planning and supports groups involved in neighbourhood planning by providing advice on processes to be followed and gives groups practical and technical support.
Details of this application by the Mid Coquetdale parishes can be found on Northumberland County Council’s website at northumberland.gov.uk/ourplan
Those who want to make comments on the proposed neighbourhood area can email PlanningStrategy@northumberland.gov.uk, write to Strategic Planning and Housing, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth NE61 2EF, or complete a response form which can be found on the website.
Representations must be received by Northumberland County Council on or before Thursday, January 29.