Uckfield Town Council is embarking on preparing a “neighbourhood plan”. Maresfield also has a plan under way.
The town council has received a presentation from Liz Bourne, from Action in Market Towns, and is now committed to preparing a plan.
Councils which have neighbourhood plans stand to gain financially when money from a new “roof tax” on housebuilding is implemented, known as Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
This is paid by developers to local authorities and the town council will automatically receive large sums of money from new developments, such as the one planned for south and west of Uckfield. If a plan is in place before outline planning permission is granted, the amount of money coming to the town council increases substantially.
See an earlier UckfieldNews.com story explaining the process here.
Town councillors accept they may not get the full amount of CIL money but still consider having a neighbourhood plan is important for the town.
A report to members from Cllr Helen Firth said: “The generation of a neighbourhood plan gives these rights to the people of the town:
- The Right to Plan
- The Right to Build.
- The Right to Challenge
- The Right to Buy.”
The council is set to take advantage of a £7,000 grant to help prepare the plan and is seeking to identify a suitable consultant and overall costs involved.
It will also seek to liaise and co-ordinate with neighbouring parish councils.
Any neighbourhood plan has to be approved by residents in a referendum.
At Maresfield, residents have been consulted at the three village fetes: Maresfield, Nutley and Fairwarp.
Roger Street, Chairman of Maresfield Parish Council, has told residents: “It is important to remember that the plan is not only concerned with housing provision and the development of land.
“It will also address at what other community priorities the parish council should be focussing its efforts and resources. These will include: business and economic activity; roads and traffic; public transport; youth provision; environment and conservation; access to community services and other infrastructure needs.”