is an opportunity for us to ensure we have the type and design of development we want, in the places we want.
Be part of the change that you want to see.
The Neighbourhood Plan working group has been busy! The information that you provided via the short survey carried out in 2019 has now been analysed . The output of this analysis, along with some professional guidance on best practice is providing the building blocks of what will become our completed Neighbourhood Plan. We are currently working on gathering information on our locality; including but not limited to it's historic and current landscape, wildlife present and population characteristics.
Over the coming months we will be doing a 'shout out' for input from our fantastic B-C-K community. This input is vital in ensuring that our final plan reflects the village as a whole- not just the interests of one small group.
To make it easier for you to keep updated on our progress, access details of any events that we may be holding or attending, or to know when we need your input we are now on Facebook (we will still update in the Village Voice too!). Please do visit our page: Bassingbourn-Cum- Kneesworth Neighbourhood Plan. Everybody is welcome!
So, what is a Neighbourhood Plan?
It is a plan for the future of our village focussed on land use: where houses should be built and how many (and possibly also where houses should not be built), what type of houses should be built and to what types of design and where employment areas should be. It is our chance to shape the future of our village.
And what is the Neighbourhood Area?
The Neighbourhood Area for our local plan is the whole parish of Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth.
South Cambridgeshire had prepared a Local Plan which has just undergone examination by a Planning Inspector. Why do we need a Neighbourhood Plan as well? Isn't that duplication?
South Cambridgeshire's Local Plan covers the whole of South Cambridgeshire and has to meet the Government's housing targets. A Neighbourhood Plan is specific to our village and what residents want for our village. But an important caveat is that a Neighbourhood Plan can't put forward any lesser development than is in the Local Plan.
If it is approved, following the report of the planning inspector,South Cambridgeshire's Local Plan will not include any additional major housing development in Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth. So if there is not to be any additional development here, why do we need a Neighbourhood Plan as well to show where housing should be built?
There is still pressure for more houses to be built, even after South Cambridgeshire's Local Plan is approved. The White Paper Fixing our Broken Housing Market puts forward proposals for building houses faster and holding developers and local authorities to account. From 2019 South Cambridgeshire District Council will be working jointly with Cambridge City Council to produce a revised Local Plan, part of which is highly probable to include building more houses. So we in Bassingbourn-cum-Kneesworth need to make sure that any development that has to take place in the future is of the right size and type and appropriate for our village.
What is not in the Neighbourhood Plan?
Issues such as roads, transport and schools may not be included in a Neighbourhood Plan except in so far as they affect the planning for land use. Such issues might be included in an appendix.
Who prepares a Neighbourhood Plan?
The preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan is led by the Parish Council but needs strong involvement by the community to ensure that the views represented are those of the community. Typically a Neighbourhood Plan is produced by a team of six to nine people including both Parish Councillors and residents. A village referendum is required to approve the plan before it is submitted for inspection so community involvement is vital from the start.
How long does it take?
Typically a Neighbourhood Plan takes about two years to prepare.
What does it cost?
The cost of a Neighbourhood Plan is typically around £8,000 - £12,000 although grants are available to cover much of the cost and South Cambridgeshire District Council also provides help. It also needs commitment of time and effort by the team preparing the plan.
Does it have any legal force?
Yes, once a Neighbourhood Plan is approved both developers and the District Council must take it into account. But a Neighbourhood Plan could still be challenged if the Government requirement for a 5‑year housing land supply is not met.