Sharnbrook Neighbourhood Plan
Feburary 2019 Update
The Sharnbrook Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group would like to bring you up to date with regard to what has been achieved so far and what is being done at present.
In order to produce a Neighbourhood Plan, specific data and evidence needs to be gathered and then presented in the final document which is submitted to the Local Planning Authority.
The Steering Group initially made people aware of the Neighbourhood Plan at the 2017 Christmas Fayre and then invited everyone to a launch event in January 2018. This event enabled the Group to explain in more detail what a Neighbourhood Plan is (and is not) and also gave people the opportunity to give opinions and ideas about how Sharnbrook should be developed. From the comments that were given, a few members of the Group produced a draft questionnaire.
In the summer of 2018 we were ready to make the questionnaire available to all residents and businesses in Sharnbrook, but due to the revisions being made to the Bedford Borough Local Plan, distribution was put on hold. We need to know what the Local Plan proposes for Sharnbrook before we can produce a suitable questionnaire. Please bear with us as we wait for the right time! Your cooperation in completing the questionnaire is an important part of the evidence we require for producing our Neighbourhood Plan so please do 'have your say' when you receive the questionnaire. In March/April 2018, several members of the Steering Group conducted a Character Study of the village. This took into consideration the wider landscape setting of the village, the physical form of the village, and the 'value' of open land within and surrounding the village. The final report presents valuable evidence that can be used to shape landscape, environment and heritage policies, and also to identify possible locations for limited future development.
While waiting for the Inspector's report on the Bedford Borough Local Plan, the Steering Group is now in the process of actioning a Housing Needs Assessment (HNA) and undertaking Site Assessments (SA). The HNA will be conducted by an outside body whereas the SA will be done by the Group with help from a professional consultant subject to the results of the Local Plan. Land owners have already put sites forward as potential places for development but each site needs to be suitable, available and achievable. Using the given criteria, each site will be assessed and the results will be presented in a final report. In the meantime, we will represent the parish at the Inspector's hearing and put forward our case against the number of houses being proposed.
Below is a map showing all sites that have been put forward over the past 5 years of the Bedford Borough Council's Call for Sites. The area shown in grey is outside the Parish, the area outlined in red is the Parish Boundary.
All sites will be assessed for suitability and sustainability, indeed, some sites have already been ruled out in the current proposed Local Plan, such as Site 622 at Colworth Garden Village, which is partly within Sharnbrook Parish. If the figure of 500 dwellings is maintained, only a few sites will be picked from this list.