Please see the important message below from the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group about forthcoming presentations on the 13th (7pm) or 14th April (10am) at the Memorial Hall.
Over the last three years your Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has been working hard to produce a genuinely ambitious Neighbourhood Plan that delivered everything you have asked for during our consultations. For many months now most of our policies have been completed and we have been ready to bring the plan forward to a pre-referendum consultation. As we hope you know, pivotal to our ambitions has been our efforts to deliver a Community Hub that would alleviate the congestion in the centre of the village and ensure access to amenities – like the doctors and the village shop – for the next 20 years and beyond.
However, despite our strenuous efforts, we have been unable to gain control of a suitable and accessible site close to the centre of the Parish that enjoys sufficient support from all the key stakeholders. We are sorry and I am personally disappointed to say that we are therefore unable to deliver the Hub that we believed would have been an exciting and lasting asset to our community.
It may be, given more time, that we might have been able to secure a suitable site but, all the time we wait developers and landowners are coming forward with proposals for housing that we don’t support and which the Parish Council is powerless to resist because the Uttlesford Local Plan has been rejected and an acceptable 5 year housing supply pipeline cannot be identified. If the Neighbourhood Plan is in place we have sound policies that at least offer some chance to control development in our parish.
So, with great reluctance we have been forced to abandon the Community Hub element of the Neighbourhood Plan.
We are now going quickly to bring forward a revised plan that offers protection against over-development in Felsted. In so doing, we have been mindful of the pressure on the Parish through UDC for additional housing. Our NP cannot prevent all development in the Parish, but our hope is now, by accepting some limited development,we will have met UDC’s needs for more housing and still have achieved some material gains for our community.
Please come along to the presentation on the 13th (7pm) or 14th April (10am) at the Memorial Hall to hear more.
Roy A C Ramm
Felsted Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group