You can find out more about Neighbourhood Planning here: https://locality.org.uk/services-tools/neighbourhood-planning/
A Neighbourhood Plan is a document that sets out planning policies for a local area. It highlights areas that we want to protect and how development should meet the needs of the community.
It is written by people who care about the town and want to ensure that Biddulph gets the right types of development, in the right place.
Neighburhood planning is supported by central government through the Localism Act.
Biddulph Town Council has been working on a Neighbourhood Plan for the town since late-2015. This is a lengthy process because the town is a large area with a range of challenges and requirements.
The town requested designation as a Neighbourhood Plan area in November 2015: Designation letter
The area was designated by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in February 2016: https://www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/article/1178/Neighbourhood-planning
A Neighbourhood Plan Working Group has been meeting regularly throughout this process to understand what should be included within a Neighbourhood Plan. If you would like to come along to one of the meetings, they are open to anyone living or working in the town. Please call: 01782 297845 or email email@example.com for more information.
At the end of 2016, the Working Group made the decision not to include site allocations within the Neighbourhood Plan. This information is included in the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Local Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan covers development of the High Street, infrastructure requirements, protection of our environment and heritage and make stipulations about the design of new housing. The document does not say where this will be located.
Much of the work of the Group (to-date) has involved collecting data and evidence about the needs of the town.
In December 2017, a householder questionnaire was completed, which was returned by over 1200 households in the town. The survey data is here: Householder survey responses
We were delighted that the cover of the questionnaire was designed by local school children, who were asked to consider what ‘Biddulph 2035’ would look like: Householder Questionnaire
The Working Group has also considered the play requirements of children within the town: Play Survey Data
Biddulph Town Council has received specialist support from AECOM to develop a Housing Needs Assessment (HNA): HNA
AECOM has also completed a Masterplan for the town centre: Masterplan
A range of consultation events have taken place and members of the team have attended Residents’ Associations, meetings with young people, health groups, etc. The Group would be delighted to speak to your organisation or team- please get in touch!
The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group felt very strongly that the environment of Biddulph should be mapped by independent and specialist agencies that could help to identify and record the special nature of areas of the town.
The Group commissioned the creation of a number of maps and studies from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. You can find these maps here:
These maps are accurate as at May 2019, and are included with this ‘screening’ document that was approved at Biddulph Town Council on 14 May 2019. This document includes the draft Neighbourhood Plan policies that will be considered by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and their partners.
You can view this document here: SCREENING VERSION Draft Policies Biddulph Neighbourhood Plan May 2019
When feedback is received from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in relation to the Neighbourhood Plan policies, a formal period of consultation will commence.
Local Green Space Designations
At the end of 2018, the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group consulted the community on proposed Local Green Space designations.
You can read more about Local Green Space designations here: https://neighbourhoodplanning.org/toolkits-and-guidance/making-local-green-space-designations-neighbourhood-plan
Guidance states that Groups should consider (although not exhaustive) the following areas when considering this designation:
Informal green spaces
Parks and gardens
Footpaths and cycle routes
Rural footpaths and nature trails
Sports pitches, golf courses and bowling greens
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems and other landscaped areas.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Guidance says that the designation should only be used:
where the green space is in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves
where the green area is demonstrably special to a local community and holds a particular local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquillity or richness of its wildlife
where the green area concerned is local in character and is not an extensive tract of land.
78 areas were included in the initial consultation. This identified a number of additional sites and issues for the Group to consider. As a result, a further period of consultation took place in April 2019. In total, the Group has consulted on 88 proposed sites.
Please see here for the summary of responses that resulted from these two consultation periods. During this time, land owners and land users were invited to offer their thoughts on each site.
Guide to the colour coding:
There are a number of sites are were felt to be unsuitable for Local Green Space designation; these are ‘red’ on the spreadsheet.
‘Green’ and ‘Amber’ coloured sites will be put forward as sites that are recommended to have a Local Green Space designation. There will be a further opportunity to provide feedback on these towards the end of 2019.
The full list of sites that will be included within the Neighbourhood Plan Consultation draft are: