Community planning is one of the most important tasks any rural community can undertake. Long before the term ‘localism’ was adopted by government, rural communities were already taking control and deciding on what was best for them.
To understand what Community Plans are, below you will find some frequently asked questions.
Following consultations in 2017 and appeal via Parish Matters, 4 residents volunteered to join a Steering Group: Penny Inglis, Philip Longhurst, Ian Webb and Ewan Williamson and Cllr Linda Baumgartl as the representative on the Group from the Parish Council.
You can see the Terms of Reference and read the Minutes of the Steering Group here.
The first meeting took place in July 2017 and the Group determined to proceed with a Parish Plan for the area.
To that end the Group consulted the community; all properties in the area received a copy of the questionnaire in the first week of May 2018 together with a freepost envelope for return.
There were 8 sections; Household, Build Development, Activities & Amenities, Environment, Community Services, Transport, Business and Employment and Future Priorities.
The response was excellent, both in the return rate, about 35%, and the quality of those responses.
You can see the detailed results of the survey here : Residents Survey Analysis
Questionnaire findings and the next steps
The key issues that came to the fore are:
• The demand for housing about meets the level of provision envisaged in our current SAMDev Plan
• Lack of provision for youngsters
• Good support for the Post Office and some for the Pub.
• A strong wish to see a village shop
• A huge wish to volunteer for community well-being projects like a good neighbours scheme, litter collection,
maintaining churchyards and the Millennium Hall as well footpaths and our general environment.
• Lack of fibre broadband in Petton
• Excessive speeding in Cockshutt and heavy goods vehicles were areas of concern
• Increased employment in the parish would be welcomed
The Steering Group decided to make its first priority harnessing the enthusiasm of the volunteers and therefore held a public evening at the Millennium Hall on 21st November 2018.
The Parish Plan for Cockshutt cum Petton was completed and adopted by the Parish Council in June 2019.The Parish Plan
The Parish Council thanks the members of the Steering Group for their time and energy including support from the Rural Community Council of Shropshire, and residents for their contribution, during the last two years to bring this project to a successful conclusion.
Cockshutt-cum-Petton CLP Steering Group
Ian Webb, Loft Longhurst, Ewan Williamson, John Cooling (Parish Council) & Penny Inglis
What is a community plan?
A community plan sets out how local residents would like to see their local area change in the future. It sets out:
* a long term vision for the community, developed by the community – describing the sort of place it would wish to be and look like
* the important issues to tackle, that reflect the needs of that particular community
* short term goals and actions
Why have a community plan?
Community plans play a crucial role in influencing local councils and service providers. They provide evidence of the type of things that people want in their communities and what they see as important.
Community plans can:
* bring the community together and generate community spirit and community actions
* provide clear evidence of community aspirations and priorities
* provide a plan for the future that service providers know is based on wide community involvement and can use to shape their services to meet local need
* help access funding streams for projects – as community plans can provide strong evidence of need to support grant applications.
* encourage partnership working by highlighting projects that need help from the community itself or from external agencies.
What is involved?
There are several steps to work through to ensure that any plan is based on the needs and views of the future from the whole community. These include:
* setting up a steering group
* consulting with the community to get views from as many people as possible
* identifying priorities
* developing an action plan that involves the local community and service providers.
Which type of plan?
Neighbourhood planning, introduced by the Localism Act 2011, is a way for communities to be involved in land-use planning decisions in their area. They enable local communities to have more say in where new houses, businesses, shops and community facilities should go in their local area and can allocate sites for development. They may also include more detailed planning policies for example to define how new development should look.
Village Design Statements
A Village or Town Design Statement (VDS) is a practical tool to help influence decisions on design and development. They provide a clear statement of the character of a particular village or town against which planning applications may be assessed.
A Parish Plan is an in depth survey of a community undertaken by that community itself for its own benefit, to find out how it wants to see itself develop over a five to ten year timescale. It includes an action plan to make sure that this actually happens.