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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.