Croxley Green Neighbourhood Plan

The Croxley Green Neighbourhood Plan has been formally accepted by n overwhelming vote of the residents: at the referendum on Thursday 6 December 2018.  94% of those who voted, voted ‘yes’, and on a turn-out of 27%, which is remarkably high for an apparently dry, technical subject.

It’s not Croxit!  It should however take back some control.

The plan was developed by Croxley Green Parish Council, in consultation with the Residents’ Association and residents themselves – you will recall the consultation a while ago,

The Neighbourhood Plan: what it is

It is not a “plan” in the ordinary sense of the word:  it is a set of policies on what should  and should not be permitted when planning applications are made.   (“Plan” is one of those technical words that means something to development control officers use so we go along with it.)

The policies are specific to Croxley Green.  The Neighbourhood Plan notes twelve character areas in the village and defines policies accordingly.

The District Council in deciding planning applications must by law take account of its own planning policies: when adopted, the Neighbourhood Plan will form part of these planning policies which the District Council must take into account when deciding applications.

This Neighbourhood Plan is the result of years of work by the Parish Council, and they have had to jump through endless bureaucratic hoops to get us this far.  It will give the Parish Council more teeth in defending the character of Croxley Green.

Another side-effect of the adoption of the Plan is that it will send more of the proceeds of the Community Infrastructure Levy to the parish council. The Community Infrastructure Levy is a payment made by developers when they begin a substantial development and which is meant to go towards the provision or improvement of infrastructure to support the development; if the parish’s neighbourhood plan is adopted then a larger proportion of this money goes to the parish council to use on local priorities.  A neighbourhood plan does not increase the amount of the levy, just changes the share-out.

What it isn’t

The Neighbourhood Plan has nothing to do with the district council’s current consultation looking for sites to build new villages and developments:  it is just unfortunate that this has come out at the same time and caused confusion.   It is not a ‘plan’ in the sense of ‘this is what we want to do’:  it is a list of policies for helping to determine planning applications.  The Neighbourhood Plan  should give the Parish Council stronger authority to combat the excesses of development.

(For my page on the separate sites consultation , see “Concreting the Green Belt“.)