Queens Park Neighbourhood Plan - Cabinet April 2018
As the Ward Councillor for Trinity and the County Councillor for Kingsthorpe South I fully support this application for Queens Park Neighbourhood Forum and Queens Park Neighbourhood Area.
Firstly I would like to thank the Planning Officers who have offered support and advice to the residents in reaching this milestone.
This application has grown from the residents of the Queens Park area who want to work together to produce a planning framework that reflects the views, aspirations, wants and needs of local people.
The proliferation of HMOs over the past years and the recent large scale developments have prompted the residents to wish to find a way to have more say over the future of their neighbourhood.
Thornton Park is the only substantial green space available locally to the residents of the area. After long discussion, consultation with Friends of Thornton Park and at the request of Thornton Park allotment committee, it was decided to include Thornton Park within the boundary.
It is probably more helpful to the understanding of the purpose and process of Neighbourhood Planning to describe the Neighbourhood Area, that enclosed by the boundary, as the Area of Benefit.
During the formation of the plan all who live or work in the area, are active in an organisation within the area, are an elected representative, use and enjoy the amenities or live nearby are part of the consultation.
ALL are included, and local residents help to make sure that a neighbourhood plan is based on proper understanding of the area and reflect the vision of the community.
The analysis of the responses from the consultation process show time and time again that the objections indicate
- misinformation and a lack of understanding about the process,
- lack of understanding of the advantages of a Neighbourhood Plan
- and the opportunities this can bring to the Area of Benefit.
A Neighbourhood Plan is founded on a robust programme of community engagement and a strong proportionate evidence base. Why would anyone argue against empowering our communities to engage, and make a positive contribution to the safety and security of the neighbourhood, protect our environment, ensure homes for families, aim to reduce pollution and invest in strategic leisure and recreational facilities for the area and Northampton as a whole?
Can I stress that nobody is excluded from community engagement and indeed engaging with the wider community right from the beginning of the plan-making process will ensure a genuine representation of the range of wants and needs in the local area.
The preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan allows the community to actively participate in local democracy.
Let's look at the tangible benefits.
- The Forum becomes a consultee for planning applications in the area.
- The council will engage with the community to agree how the 25% of CIL receipts from developments within the Queens Park Neighbourhood Area should be spent.
- The existence of a Neighbourhood Plan will open avenues to further funding streams,
- and engagement in the process is likely to have a positive impact, giving residents power to shape their own communities.
I urge you to support the designation of this Neighbourhood Area.