Allendale community planning scheme set to become reality

A NORTHUMBERLAND town selected as one of only 17 pilot community planning schemes nationally in 2011 is ready to go ahead with its development blueprint.

A NORTHUMBERLAND town selected as one of only 17 pilot community planning schemes nationally in 2011 is ready to go ahead with its development blueprint.

Allendale was chosen under the Government’s new Localism Bill to be a “front runner” in revolutionary planning proposals to include the views of local people.

The parish council set to work meeting the region’s public from October 2011 and now, 16 months later, is ready to lay out its suggestions.

Issues such as new housing, renewable energy, redundant buildings, open spaces and business support will be on the agenda when new public consultation opens on Monday.

A special steering group will then submit proposals to the county council through the parish council.

It’s a move which effectively reverses standard planning policy, as planning officers usually present plans to the public, but this time the public has a direct say at the start.

The county’s initial role will be merely to examine the proposals to ensure they meet planning rules. It then goes all the way through to a final-stage referendum in which all local voters get the chance to say whether or not they support the plan.

Jan Simmonds, chair of Allendale Parish Council, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into considering the information and comments collected from the community following the launch of the project in October 2011.

“We have been working with community volunteers and other organisations in the parish to help prepare a set of planning policies that reflect what we think are important matters for the community.

“The plan covers issues such as the scale of new housing, re-use of redundant buildings, small-scale renewable energy, support for the business community and protection of important open spaces in Allendale.”

Drop-in events have been fixed for February 8 at the Hemmel Cafe in Allenheads, 10.30am to 1.30pm, and at Allendale Village Hall, 3pm to 8pm.

 

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