Why the Neighbourhood plan is so vital to our Village

Written by Julia Davies Chair, Stanstead Abbotts, St Margarets and the Folly Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

After several years’ work of thoroughly exploring the settlement area, researching and discussing
the options for the future of the village, we plan to go ahead with the necessary regulation 14
consultation this Autumn.

This consultation will be open to any resident of Stanstead Abbotts Parish or St Margarets Parish or The Folly, who will all receive a summary of the plan through their door.

The entire plan will be online and available for people to read and we will be hoping to have online
feedback or alternatively written feedback through the post.

Any comments have to be considered by the Steering Group and if it is appropriate at the end of the consultation changes will be made.

There will be an open day when people can view paper copies of the Neighbourhood Plan and
supporting documents and ask how to complete their consultation response.

The plan will contain policies on green spaces and the natural environment; on the community and
leisure; on heritage and protection for the many much-loved historical features in the community;
there will be policies to encourage employment and others on transport addressing the needs of
residents who have a variety of reasons to travel.

We anticipate that most of the interest will be in the design features ensuring a sustainable
approach to developments and in the sites we allocate to deliver at least 94 homes which we were
tasked with finding at the outset by East Herts Council.

We had to map out which sites were in flood zones which ruled them out or green belt which we were very reluctant to intrude on. One of the powers that Neighbourhood Plan groups have is that they may release green belt land if it is set out in a strategic policy e.g. in the District Plan and there is evidence that it may be justified. We will be proposing the release of some of the land at Netherfield Lane –part of that site is brownfield land
which is the type of site that we consider to be ideal.

After the Regulation 14 consultation has closed, the responses taken into account, and amendments
made, it will be submitted to East Herts Council along with the Consultation Statement and statutory
maps etc.
East Herts Council will publish the documents online for a further consultation – Regulation 16.

ThePlan and the consultation comments will then be inspected by an independent Examiner and further
changes are likely to be made. If it is considered to meet the Basic Conditions, a referendum will
follow. All those people living in the Neighbourhood Plan Area will then have a chance to vote yes or
no, ie in favour or not in favour.

If more than 50% of the votes cast are in favour then the plan will be adopted by East Herts Council.

If the plan is adopted then no housing development outside the village boundary, other than that
selected in the plan will be granted planning permission by East Herts Council until 2033.

This is why the Neighbourhood Plan is so vital to the future of our village.

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