Monday 2 November 2015

Neighbourhood Plan for Belper ................ November 2015

I thought it time to report on what progress is being made with the Neighbourhood Plan for Belper (NP4B). So far not that much visibility but there was an item in the Belper News last week : link to the article which suggests that the NP4B is a reaction to AVBC being unable to come up with a local plan. I get the impression that the NP4B is far more than that.

There is a now an NP4B website that has just gone live : link to Neighbourhood Plan for Belper website; as I say, early days for this  site but it does contain a couple of articles describing just what the NP4B is and I am reliably informed that there will be much more content added in the next few weeks. Most importantly there are contact details as suggestions and comments are eagerly sought link to the "contact us" page.

Speaking with those involved with the NP4B Steering Group (there are at present about a dozen) they have had a series of meetings over the past three months concentrating on the scope of the plan and the boring business of how best to organise themselves. I believe it will get much more interesting when they get to the stage of public meetings, apparently sometime in the new year. They have sorted out six distinct topics of interest:

  1. Community & Leisure
  2. Built Environment/ Design & Conservation
  3. Employment & Local Economy
  4. Culture, Heritage & Religion
  5. Infrastructure, Transport & Travel, Energy & Outlying Neighbourhoods
  6. Green Open Spaces
Each of these topics contains a plethora of sub components, far too many for me to list in this post but I am assured that full details will be available soon on the website. Each topic is "championed" by a facilitator who will be collating data, organising meetings and the gathering of opinions and ideas from  ......... well whoever is interested. Ideally special interest groups/clubs/organisations or individuals should contact NP4B indicating a desire to assist with one or more of the topics. It is hoped that the facilitators will cultivate networks that reach right into the community so no voice goes unheard, nobody is forgotten.

The Steering Group is currently grappling with the problem of getting an initial information sheet to each household in the Belper area, from Blackbrook to Bargate, Milford/Makeney to Far Laund; the parish of Belper comprising over 9,400 homes.

 All this activity will culminate with a Belper Plan being submitted to a government inspector and, once rubber stamped will be subject to a referendum planned to coincide with the county council elections in May 2017. BelperStuff will monitor progress and report .... as and when.

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