What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood planning was recently introduced to allow local people to set out their own planning policies for their community. Its origins come from the Government’s determination to ensure that local communities are closely involved in decisions that affect them.

What our Neighbourhood Plan can do
  • Develop a shared vision for our area to 2030.
  • Shape, direct and help to deliver sustainable development by setting local planning policies for the use and development of land.
  • Provide a blueprint for sustainable development in our parishes which focuses on local, rather than strategic issues.
  • It is a legal document. Once adopted, it will carry the same weight as the Ashford Local Plan. Our Neighbourhood Plan must be used in law to determine planning applications in our parishes. Developers and local authority planners will have to take notice of it.
What our Neighbourhood Plan cannot do

In accordance with national policies:

  • Our Neighbourhood Plan should not promote less development than set out in the Ashford Local Plan 2030.
  • It cannot directly address issues which are not related to the development of land such as traffic calming schemes, potholes or litter.
What area does our Neighbourhood Plan cover?

The Neighbourhood Plan relates to the whole of Boughton Aluph and Eastwell Parishes and incorporates Goat Lees, Boughton Lees, Boughton Aluph and Eastwell as well as the surrounding countryside. See map.

How did you go about finding out the views of residents?

We have:

  • Set up a volunteer Steering Group of parish residents to lead the day to day work on the Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Set up a dedicated Neighbourhood Plan website for residents to follow our progress and to feed in their comments.
  • Held 4 community “discovery” consultation events to capture local issues. 236 parish residents took part posting 932 comments from which a draft vision and set of objectives were developed.
  • Held a household survey (paper and online) in 2016. Questions were framed around the draft objectives. 482 completed questionnaires were received, equivalent to 46% of parish households, well above the average response rate for surveys of this type. 3 feedback events were held on survey results.
What evidence supports the Neighbourhood Plan?

We have:

  • Researched Housing, Environment, Heritage, Traffic and Transport, Connectivity, Business and Employment, Infrastructure, Community Services and Leisure. Read our evidence papers.
  • Identified, recorded and mapped 11 Character Areas within the built up areas of Goat Lees and Boughton Lees.
  • Identified, recorded and mapped 7 Local Green Spaces. Through Neighbourhood Plans, local communities are able to identify for special protection green areas of particular importance to them.
  • Identified, recorded and mapped 12 Important Public Views. These are valued views of and from the defined settlements of Ashford and Boughton Lees which contribute to local character and amenity.
  • Drawn a Village Envelope around the confines of Boughton Lees for the first time to be used by the Local Planning Authority to distinguish between the built up area of the village and the surrounding countryside.

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