Neighbourhood Development Plan 2021

In February 2018, our community voted in a referendum to adopt the current Neighbourhood Plan. This now needs revising, and a Working Party has been formed by the Parish Council to lead on this work.

What is a neighbourhood plan and why do we need one?
Neighbourhood Plans set out a vision for an area - in this case our parish - including planning policies for the use and development of land in that area. It helps to guide development, not prevent it, and covers local issues rather than strategic ones. Once approved by the community, the Plan is accepted by the planning authority (Harborough District Council) as a legal commitment, compatible with the Harborough Local Plan, and is applied to future planning decisions. The Plan gives our community a voice in influencing the location and type of future developments in the village.

Why do we need to revise the existing plan?
The current plan was originally intended to run until 2031 but events have moved faster than expected. Some 140 new houses have been built in the village since the last plan was developed, expanding the population and increasing the demand for services. In addition, the proposed relocation of Scraptoft Golf Course could result in development of the village towards the east. Alongside these developments, the Covid pandemic has changed the way people work and travel, and there is increasing awareness of the impact of climate and environmental changes on us all. The Government are currently reviewing climate change and environment regulations with implications for planning regulations. Together these factors mean that now is a good time to update our Neighbourhood Plan and ensure it reflects the aspirations of our community.

How long will the process take?
It is likely to take around two years to revise the plan and have it approved by an independent examiner and the community. Most of the work will be carried out by sub-groups of the working party, each with a specific remit such as transport, environment, and village design. These meet about once a month and work on evidence gathering etc. between meetings. There will also be a range of consultation activities with interested groups such as the community, parish groups, local landowners, developers and businesses to ensure everyone has a chance to input into the development of the Plan.

How can I get involved?
More volunteers are needed to help with all aspects of the development process, from joining sub-groups to gathering and reviewing evidence, writing documents, delivering questionnaires, and helping with engagement activities. We want to ensure that all areas of our community are represented, so if you can help with any aspect of this work, please contact the Parish Clerk at clerk@houghtononthehillpc.org.uk.