The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group met on 15th January. There has been some progress recently. As we reported in the autumn, developers have put forward a number of potential housing sites in our parish, and we will have to consider them using a “Site Allocation Approach”. This will have more strength than our previous approach to the issue. Planning Officers have already visited all the proposed sites, with two members of our Steering Group walking round with them. Independent landscape assessors will determine the impact on and capacity of the landscape for development here. We’ve commissioned an independent ecological survey of these areas too. A revised submission about green spaces is nearly ready to submit to Lancaster City Council. The Rural Housing Needs Survey carried out by Lancaster City Council last year should soon provide results, improving our knowledge of the housing priorities for people who live in our villages. We are collecting photographs of the Parish – important and beautiful landscapes and interesting buildings. Over the last few months, the Steering Group has learned a lot from looking at documents produced by Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and we will use this to improve our own Neighbourhood Plan using the strengths of the Forest Of Bowland AONB.
In March or April we expect to hold another village consultation – a drop-in event where residents will be invited to look at plans and maps and comment on the sites which developers have put forward for possible housing or other building projects, together with the boundaries of the Area of Separation between Caton and Brookhouse and on the Green Spaces in general. The Steering Group will work on these comments, along with all the results from our previous surveys and the formal consultation last year, to create a second Draft Neighbourhood Plan. This document will go out for another six-week period of formal consultation. We are now working closely with Lancaster City Council on our Neighbourhood Plan, and they are obliged to take account of it in formulating their own District Plan.
The Steering Group plans to meet again on 27th February; if you would like to come along or find out more about our work do contact us on email@example.com or ring 771551.