18th June 2013

This was a quiet week from a council perspective. However it gives me a chance to think about the long awaited re-launch of the Neighbourhood Plan. Those with good memories will remember the launch last year. It started well but then we lost impetus and also we had the boundaries review. This is a restructuring of the boundaries and effectively paused the process and needless to say, caused some emotion. People are attached to their particular parish and with good reason. On the one hand these boundary changes do occur and with good reasons. On the other, we all identify with our community so resist change. However I feel there was some misunderstanding and misinterpretation.  The original intent of the neighbourhood plan was to get all the neighbouring parishes together to form an alliance (we suggested the Alauna Alliance as it is neutral) so that we all speak with one voice on planning issues and hope that this will give us a ‘critical mass’ with SDC when either objecting to or trying to amend schemes.

I was naturally pleased that we managed to get the first (North) planning application for Alimore Lane rejected. We have the same to do with the Southern scheme that is being heard on the 27th June at St Benedict’s. If we had a neighbourhood plan in place it may have made life much easier but we are where we are. Also if we had the core strategy in place it would be significantly easier! One day……

So, I ask everyone to please keep an eye out for the revamped neighbourhood plan relaunch which will be happening soon. Please do come to the events we are planning where it will all be explained. This is probably the most important thing happening to the structure of Alcester in our generation.