Neighbourhood Plan

Page updated 28 Oct 2018  

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

DOUBLE EXIT FOR DROITWICH SPA


At a Council Meeting on 28th January 2019 the Town Council confirmed the minutes of the 24th September 2018 suspending the community's right to continue developing a Neighbourhood Plan for the future of the town and its residents under the Localism Act 2011. The legislation is intended to increase local democracy in planning giving more power to local people. Although this is statutary law its provisions have been compared to civil rights for the community.

The Leader of the Council Councillor Sinton said this was Droitwich Spa's BREXIT. It is in fact not the same at all and much more than that.

With BREXIT we may be leaving the EU.

With the suspension of the community's legal rights to have a say on planning issues up to 2030 and possibly beyond, Droitwich Spa is leaving the rest of our country.

There has been no referendum, no Parish Poll (as in the case of the Lido), no consultation with the community. There are just Town Councillors dictating that a community, with the new housing, of an estimated 26,500 people do not deserve the same rights as the rest of the country or even other places in Wychavon District.

They say it is too difficult for them to administer and too expensive. They have failed to apply for the Government Grants that are available to pay for a Neighbourhood Plan for 2 financial years. They have mismanaged the appointment of a planning consultant, which they have now terminated, wasting taxpayer's money.

They have looked to deflect attention by blaming the Droitwich Spa Neighbourhood Plan Management Group and Steering Group for delays. These groups are made up of community volunteers who have been working for over 2 years preparing a plan for consultation with the rest of the community, without financial support. Waiting for resources to be funded and waiting for the consultant to be appointed has contributed to any delays.

They even criticised the cancellation of a meeting in the summer "due to a football match". With summer holidays and residents watching the World Cup, supporting the England team, attendance would have been very low.

So we have our Town Council even criticising support for sport and the England Team.  No wonder we have so little leisure provision in the town and our best teams have to play away from the town because of below standard facilities.

By September 2018 the Town Council was deciding, without any consultation with the community representatives, that the Neighbourhood Plan's development should be suspended. This was just as plans were moving towards fully informing and consulting with the community.

So not ONE but a DOUBLE EXIT for Droitwich Spa. We may enjoy the notoriety of being separated from the legal rights of the rest of the country by our dictatorial Town Council. We will probably not be impressed by the long-term effects on the town and the future enjoyment of our enviroment.

For more information about Neighbourhood Planning use this link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/neighbourhood-planning--2

Consider carefully who you vote for at the May 2019 Local Elections. You may be re-electing a Councillor who continues to be opposed to your legal rights under the Localism Act 2011 and subsequent legisltion. Check your favoured candidate will support your rights under the law if you consider your rights and that of the community important. Some manifestos mention a plan, a Town Plan, a Sports Plan, or other terms but only a Neighbourhood Plan gives you your full say and can become planning law as powerful as the South Worcestershire Development Plan and ensure what you want is heard. The question to your candidate is "Will you support a Neighbourhood Plan under the Localism Act 2011 Yes or No?" Anything else can be a fudge. 

Neighbourhood Planning is a cornerstone of the present Government's policy to increase local democracy in planning and has been suported by other parties. Your current Town Councillors voted against your right to decide if you want a say on planning for the future.


Government's "My Community Website" on Neighbourhood Planning

WYCHAVON ACKNOWLEDGES APPLICATION FOR NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN