Neighbourhood Plans are community-led plans to guide future development or conservation of an area. They can include a range of planning policies and proposals and will form part of the statutory development plan for their area.
The Neighbourhood Plan Regulations state that the parish and city councils should formally apply to agree an appropriate Neighbourhood Area with the district council which the Neighbourhood Plan will relate to. In making a decision the district council must first notify potentially affected parties and invite comments back.
The current applications are being put out for public consultation from today (Monday 2nd June) to Monday 14th July. The purpose of this consultation exercise is to seek views from people who live and work in these communities as to whether the areas that have been identified are considered to be appropriate. In the case of these current applications, the proposed Neighbourhood Plan areas correspond to their respective parish boundaries.
At this stage, views on the content of the Neighbourhood Plans are not being encouraged, as these will be gathered in consultation exercises organised by the parish and city councils producing the plans.
Ian Bowen, principal planning policy officer at Mendip District Council, said: “We would urge local residents to respond to the consultation if they think the boundaries being used should be different from what is being proposed.
“As the parish and city councils prepare their Neighbourhood Plans, extensive consultation will take place in both Wells and St Cuthbert Out. It will be during this process that people can have their say on specific sites and policies being proposed.”
Cllr Nigel Woollcombe-Adams, portfolio holder for Built Environment, said: “In the right circumstances, Neighbourhood Plans can be of great benefit to communities, allowing them to help shape development in their local area.
“Consultation is a crucial part of the process and I would urge everyone with an interest in the future of Wells and the St Cuthbert Out Parish to get involved.”
The applications are available to be viewed online at www.mendip.gov.uk A copy will also be available at the District Council offices in Shepton Mallet.
If you wish to comment on the applications you can do so online at www.mendip.gov.uk, by email [email protected] or in writing to Mendip District Council, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT.