Welcome to the first Stisted Neighbourhood Plan update. Seeing as this is possibly the first time some of you will have heard of the neighbourhood plan, it seems only right to explain what it’s all about.
A neighbourhood plan is a document that sets out planning policies for a local area.
It’s used to decide whether to approve planning applications, including new buildings (e.g. community facilities) or changes to existing buildings (e.g. giving permission to change the upper floors of shops to flats). It’s written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place.
Once a neighbourhood plan is brought into force (after a referendum) it carries real legal weight. Decision-makers will be obliged to make decisions in line with Braintree DIstrict Council’s local development plan (which will include any neighbourhood development plans that are in force) when they consider proposals for development in the neighbourhood.
Stisted Parish Council has been leading the development of a neighbourhood plan since late 2017, assisted by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee. You may have seen posters and banners about the parish advertising our public meetings from time to time. Our most recent being held in the Montefiore in early October where we had a total of 33 members of the public that came to see the progress we have made, and comment and provide feedback on the work so far. If you attended, thank you for your support and interest.
Since those meetings, we have gone on to successfully apply for a grant to progress our work further. In the coming weeks we will be appointing consultants to perform a number of surveys and tasks around the parish. If you receive a form or questionnaire from the neighbourhood plan (and everybody should receive one), please do take the time to complete and return it. It is your opportunity to contribute, have your say and help form the final neighbourhood plan.