You can follow the progress of the Neighbourhood plan using the menu items on the left.
PLEASE NOTE: As part of the Neighbourhood Plan process we are conducting a housing needs assessment. It is very important that every household completed the survey.
The survey document is being distributed early in April. Because of an oversight you may miss the document when it is posted through your door as it is a white envelope with "Dear Householder" on the front. You may well have thrown it away as junk mail! If you haven't received one or inadvertantly discarded it, please download a copy and return it to us. There are two documents - please click to download and print off:
Many households will only need to answer a few questions but it is still important that the form is returned completed. If you don't have a printer, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01582 832541. Thank you for your help.
Wheathampstead's Neighbourhood Plan
Wheathampstead Parish Council has agreed to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan (sometimes called a Neighbourhood Development Plan) for our parish. In the coming months we will be compiling the plan in full consultation with our residents. The Plan is our way (Wheathampstead residents) to influence development within the parish for the next 20 years.
If you want to be kept up to date with progress, please "Join our circulation list" by registering on the Home page of this web site (scroll down towards to bottom, on the left). Through the web site we will also be calling for volunteers with particular skills at various points in the project. In the first instance these might include town planners, architects, IT specialists, graphic designers and marketing communication. Later we will also need volunteers to help organise public meetings, leaflet drops, surveys and special events.
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
The Localism Act (2011) has reformed the planning system to give local people new rights to shape the development of the communities in which they live.
Neighbourhood Plans will set out the vision for an area and the planning policies for the use and development of land within Wheathampstead – our parish and Neighbourhood Area.
These policies will support the strategic policies within the St Albans Local Plan - Core Strategy. Our Plans should focus on guiding development rather than stopping it.
Neighbourhood Plans will give our community an increased ability to influence planning within our area. Plans will need to conform with planning policies and guidance at a local, national and European level and meet the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations. This will be tested in an independent examination. They will also need to demonstrate involvement of the local community in decision making and be subject to a community referendum.
Once such a plan is made or adopted, it will become a statutory plan carrying equal weight to the St Albans Local Plan - Core Strategy and be part of the Local Development Framework. This will mean that it will be used in making decisions on planning applications by St Albans District Council
Benefits of a Neighbourhood Plan
A Neighbourhood Plan helps the community to play a greater role in shaping the future of the area.
It brings together local residents, businesses, local groups, landowners and developers to share ideas and build consensus about what is needed by the local community.
It can help build relationships between local community and service providers
It allows communities to set the PRIORITIES for planning within the area
Areas with an adopted Neighbourhood Plan are entitled to a larger share of any Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which goes towards infrastructure projects in the area.
Neighbourhood Plans Can:
Decide where and what type of development should happen within the parish
Promote more development than provided for within the St Albans Local Plan Core Strategy
Include detailed planning policies for the parish which do not confl ict with the St Albans Local Plan - Core Strategy
Neighbourhood Plans Cannot:
Conflict with the policies within the St Albans Local Plan - Core Strategy
Be used to prevent development
Be prepared by a body other than a parish or town council in St Albans
Include county matters such as Minerals and Waste
What does a Neighbouhood Plan look like?
Can be simple or complex. Examples include:
Area local plan - Comprehensive coverage of policy issues and allocates development sites for a range of uses
Policy plan - Can cover a broad range of policy issues with criteria based policies but no specific allocation
Single policy document - A single policy issue such as protection of open spaces, affordable housing or retail issues
Allocations plan - A plan can be used as a site allocation document to indicate the appropriate sites for further development within the site
What might it include?
Neighbourhood Plans can contain a variety of issues and policies which are most relevant to the parish. The plan should be responsive to the needs and aspirations of the community. Examples (non exhaustive) include
Identify sites for housing, including affordable housing;
Provision of a settlement boundary;
Provision for businesses to set up or expand in the parish;
Provision of cycle ways and footpaths;
Identify sites for community use such as schools, village halls, health centre, leisure facilities;
Design guidance for your parish;
Protection and creation of open space, green amenity areas, nature reserves, allotments, play areas;
Protection of important local buildings and other historical assets;
Promoting of renewable energy schemes and projects;
Restrict the types of development or change of use, for example; non retail uses in village/town centres;
Provide sites for Gypsies and Travellers.
You can download a more detailed explanation of the Neighbourhood Planning process in the form of a booklet published by the CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) called "How to shape where you live: a guide to neighbourhood planning".