Lickey & Blackwell and Cofton Hackett parish councillors are encouraging all residents to say “Yes” to their Neighbourhood Development Plan in a referendum on Thursday December 12.
If it is accepted by more than 50 per cent of voters, the Plan will be adopted as an essential guide for planning officers, developers and councillors in Bromsgrove – as Alvechurch’s was earlier this year.
Five parish councillors and five residents, guided by a planning consultant and a local planning officer, worked as a steering group for six years to produce the Plan and hundreds of residents contributed to consultations and attended events where their views were heard and noted.
“Alvechurch’s Plan is already proving its worth, with planning decisions taking into account the wishes of residents about where new houses should be built,” says Lickey & Blackwell parish councillor Nick Forknell, chair of the steering group which has produced the new Plan.
The aim of the Plans was to ensure that homes were built in the right places and to a high standard of design and energy efficiency, while areas valued by residents were protected for all to enjoy.
“Both Alvechurch and Lickey & Blackwell parish councils already have Village Design Statements, which were accepted as statutory guidance documents some years ago and are referred to in planning applications and decisions,” adds Coun Forknell. “The new Plans are an even more valuable aid to better, and hopefully less contentious, decision-making.”
Those in the parishes should have received a polling card (different from the one for the General Election on the same date!) and can vote on the referendum at the Trinity Centre in Lickey, The Wheel in Blackwell, Cofton Hackett Village Hall or St Luke’s Centre in Marlbrook.
“The Plan can be read online at https://www.lickeyandblackwellpc.org or https://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk and it really is worth making the effort before voting,” adds Lisa Winterbourn, Lickey & Blackwell’s parish clerk, who has put in many hours of work on the project.
“The end result is a People’s Plan of which the parishes can be proud,” says Coun Forknell. “Now the message is ‘Come and vote YES to your own Neighbourhood Plan on December 12!”