Neighbourhood Plan ‘Made’ by NHDC Cabinet on Tues  29th June 2021

During the NHDC Cabinet meeting on Tues 29th June, the Neighbour hood plan was formally adopted (Made) and will now come into force.  It should be considered during future Planning activities in the area.

Neighbourhood Plan approved by a referendum vote  on Thur  6th May 2021

6th May 2021  –  88% (3101 votes)  of Referendum respondents voted in favour of NHDC adopting the Plan. It will come into force as soon as the NHDC Cabinet formally adopt (Make) the Plan.

The  Jan 2021 version of the Neighbourhood Plan   was approved by NHDC as ready for a referendum vote in Jan 2021.  The referendum vote took place  on Thurs 6 May 2021, when 88% (3101) residents voted in favour of NHDC adopting the Plan.

Further details of the Referendum vote and associated documents may be found on the Activities So Far page.

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Land East of Rhee Spring development (BA4)

We now have our first example of how the Neighbourhood Plan can help shape future development in the area. A proposal by  Chalkdene Developments LLP  for the development of 42 dwellings on the Land East of Rhee Spring (BA4) has been made public (see their Consultation website).  As the Neighbourhood Plan has now been approved by NHDC, it has to be considered during the planning process.

BBPlan have compiled a draft Response to formal planning application BA4 regarding the consultation for the above site.  The consultation period closes on 16th July 2021.

Please note that this draft Response  is not intended to replace individuals submitting their views directly to the council. It is imperative that all views are submitted by as many residents as possible. This draft response is designed to augment those responses.

More details of this development are available on the new  Planning  page

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We have got to this stage following an enormous amount of work by many people in the local community, and most recently following a vote by NHDC’s Cabinet (on Jan 26th 2021 – see NHDC YouTube website) which confirmed that the Neighbourhood Plan was suitable to be put to a referendum.  NHDC agreed with us that some of the recommendations of an independent examiner, who looked at the plan last summer, were inappropriate, and so these have not been included in the Neighbourhood Plan.

A very small number of changes have been made to the  Jan 2021 version of the Neighbourhood Plan   following the examiner’s report, but he endorsed the vast majority of the plan, including the importance of keeping a gap between Baldock and Bygrave, requirements for improved facilities and for well designed and sustainable development.

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Photos and Video page
Contains photos and aerial videos of the proposed housing Sites BA1, BA2, BA3 & BA4.

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NHDC Cabinet voted to accept the revised  Neighbourhood Plan on 26th Jan 2021 (Agenda Item 9)

On 26th Jan 2021, NHDC Cabinet voted unanimously to accept the revised  Jan 2021 version of the Neighbourhood Plan , with the departures from the examiner’s recommendations included.  This allowed the Plan to proceed to a NHDC referendum / vote across Baldock, Bygrave & Clothall,   on May 6th 2021, alongside the May Local Elections.

The vote was taken at the NHDC Cabinet meeting on January 26th 2021.
Report for the meeting:  Agenda Document for Cabinet, 26/01/2021 19:30
See Video of the NHDC Cabinet meeting on the NHDC YouTube website.

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Baldock’s Urban Extension Programme

The local paper, the Comet reported on 24th June 2021 that Herts County Council (HCC) have appointed Urban&Civic as the master developer for the Baldock area.  This is to progress HCC’s plans for the new developments around Baldock with the expectation of submitting a new planning application, for the whole of Baldock, after the Local Plan hearings conclude.  In the meantime, focus will be on the land marked as B4 in the Local Plan.  As this land is not part of the Green Belt it is not subject to Local Plan approval and timetable.

The article in the Comet reports that the changes suggested by the Inspector, Simon Berkeley, would see Baldock’s Local Plan housing contribution reduce from 3,386 to 2198 (within the Plan period to 2031).   These changes were proposed as part of a HCC / NHDC consultation, which ended on June 24th 2021.

In the consultation document, the proposed modifications for Baldock are given in MM205, MM207 (BA3) & MM210 (which proposes BA1 houses reduced from 2800 to 2500,  with 1400 completed within the Plan period to 2031).   FM117 gives the details for Bygrave.

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Baldock, Bygrave & Clothall Planning Group  –  Background

This group (BBPlan) was created to enable residents, businesses and community groups in 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.

The Neighbourhood plan does not seek to duplicate work already included in the Local Plan. It focuses on specific interests of the local community that have been identified through our events and last year’s community survey. If successful at a referendum, 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 a Neighbourhood Plan is needed

Baldock, Bygrave & Clothall share a lot of history and form a thriving community. Baldock has excellent schools, a successful High Street and a strong community spirit. 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 housing, North Hertfordshire District Council has proposed the development of land around Baldock that has previously been considered unsuitable (some of which straddles the boundaries between Baldock, Bygrave & Clothall).

Whatever happens with this, 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 local concerns.

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, 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 Group needs 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 info@bbplan.co.uk

The current committee is made up of :-

Adrienne Waterfield                 Chair / Project Manager
Rob Hemmings                          Treasurer
Philip Hills                                  Bygrave Parish Council Chair
Albert Sillwood                          Secretary
Shawn Nudd                               Planning Application Response Coordinator
Christine Watson                      Community Liaison Coordinator

Advisors :-

Helen Howard                           Clothall (with Luffenhall) Parish Chair
Stephen Proops                         Technical Communication Manager
Neil Brown                                 Regular Planning Application Review

Members above stood for election in June 2021 and were re-elected.  Rev’d Andrew Holford stood down as Chair, and Shawn Nudd joined the committee.
However in order to keep the group going we would very much welcome new volunteers.  Please email  info@bbplan.co.uk  to let us know if you are interested, or would like further information.

Constitution of the Group

set out in the pdf document – BBPlan Constitution

BBPlan Logo

 

 

 

 

 

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A few of the other sources of information about Baldock:-