Community Survey & Public meeting – Jan to Mar 2018
The survey to gain your views as to how the Baldock area should develop alongside the NHDC Local Plan has now closed. A Public Meeting to give the results of the Survey was held on Thursday March 15th at Knight’s Templar School, Park St, Baldock, SG7 6DZ – from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
For full details of the Public Meeting and Survey results, see Activities-so-far page.
Baldock, Bygrave & Clothall Planning Group
This group (BBPlan) will enable residents, businesses and community groups of Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall to influence the conservation, enhancement and future development of the area, including proposals that come forward through the District Council’s Local Plan.
After extensive consultation with as many local interests as possible, the group will produce a Neighbourhood plan which is suitable for submission to North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) and be the basis on which a local referendum can be conducted. The Neighbourhood plan will not seek to duplicate work already included in the Local Plan. It will focus on specific interests of the local community that have been identified through the consultation.
Following a successful referendum, the contents of the plan will be used by NHDC alongside the Local Plan to manage development in the area, and provide a basis for wider actions to enhance Baldock, Bygrave & Clothall.
Why it is needed
Baldock, Bygrave & Clothall share a lot of history and form a thriving community. Baldock has excellent schools and a successfully developing High Street community which are used both by Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall residents. Since the building of the bypass a lot of work has been done to enhance the centre of the town.
With the ever increasing pressure to find new sites for extra housing, NHDC are considering the development of land that has previously been considered unsuitable, some of which cuts across the boundaries between Baldock, Bygrave & Clothall. Whatever the outcome of the Local Plan process, some additional development is both necessary and inevitable (though hopefully not on the scale which NHDC has most recently proposed). It is important that any sites that are allocated for development are planned in the best way possible, that the impacts are managed and that every opportunity is taken to maximise any benefits that can be secured for the town and parish. The local community are well placed to understand those issues and develop a new vision for Baldock, Bygrave & Clothall that addresses these issues.
So what is a neighbourhood plan?
In summary it provides a vision and policies for an area, produced and endorsed by local people, and which – once finalised – has equal weight to the District Council’s local plan as a framework for considering future development. It provides an opportunity to set out what is important about the area to existing locals, how it might grow and improve, and specific policies that planning applications need to be assessed against (e.g. on design, green space, provision for pedestrians and cyclists, parking, etc). There are some limits on what it can do. It cannot override the ‘strategic’ policies in the District Council’s local plan (such as those on the overall scale of growth), but it can nevertheless be an important means of influencing the final outcome.
The law requires a structured process through which local groups can become registered as neighbourhood forums. Clearly they have to be representative and have to be able to demonstrate that they reflect the views of local residents, voluntary groups and businesses. The neighbourhood plan must be properly set out and provide thorough evidence for the policies it is putting forward. The forum should therefore be made up of people with appropriate skills and at least some with relevant professional experience.
Baldock, Bygrave and recently Clothall, have chosen to work together. The forum would require the assistance of Bygrave Parish Council (BPC) as their ‘Agents’ in formally submitting documents to the relevant bodies. BPC have taken the decision to assist.
The Neighbourhood Forum has now been formally set up and the majority of the structure in place. Not all Committee positions have been filled. The Chairperson is Rev. Andrew Holford who will be seen to be neutral in this position.
The Group does need as many members and support as it can possibly have. We urge all Bygrave, Baldock and Clothall Residents to get behind this initiative. For more details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The current committee is made up of:-
Rev’d Andrew Holford Chair
Michael Bingham Technical Consultant
Rob Hemmings Treasurer
Philip Hills Bygrave Parish Council Chair
Rachel Kelley Clothall (with Luffenhall) Parish
Stephen Proops Technical Communication Manager
Albert Sillwood Secretary
Adrienne Waterfield Project Manager
Christine Watson Community Liaison Coordinator
All members above stood for re-election in October 2017, however in order to keep the group going we would very much welcome new volunteers.
Constitution of the Group –
set out in the pdf document – BBPlan Constitution