Welcome to the website for the Arlesey Neighbourhood Plan.
In 2014, Arlesey Town Council voted to pursue a Neighbourhood Plan. The initial paperwork was put in place last year and the outline for the plan agreed. The next step was to organise a Steering Group to carry this forward. This would include a mix of councillors and residents to formulate the plan. The first meeting of the Steering Group was held on Tuesday 27th January 2015 and was attended by a cross section of residents, some councillors and a representative from Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC).
The Steering Group will be meeting regularly to progress the plan and hopefully put this place as soon as possible. Consultations on the plan will be open to Arlesey residents and workers to gauge public feeling and hopefully bring forward ideas to include into the plan. It is a chance to influence what goes into the future of Arlesey and is open to everyone.
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan is a community-led framework for guiding the future development and growth of an area. It may contain a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for open space or development. It can cover a wide range of issues including housing, employment, heritage, recreation and transport. While it must conform to national policies and the local government development plan, it carries more weight than other local planning documents such as the Town Plan because the local authority will be legally obliged to make planning decisions based upon what is in this plan. Finally, in order to be formally put in place, it must be supported by a majority of residents voting at a special referendum that will happen at the end of the process. Once a Neighbourhood Plan is adopted, significant government funds will be available to implement the Plan. There is also potential to release funds generated as a result of any development and to make them accessible at a local level – funds that would otherwise be under the control of CBC.
How will this affect the proposed Arlesey Cross development?
The Arlesey Cross Development, also known as the Arlesey Masterplan, was adopted by CBC in early 2014. So while the Arlesey Neighbourhood Plan cannot put a stop to those plans, it can have an influence. A Neighbourhood Plan provides the opportunity to affect and shape elements such as the nature and location of amenities such as shops, leisure and recreational facilities, etc., the types and style of housing, the architectural principles of new buildings (e.g. using Arlesey Brick) and, potentially, infrastructure elements such as roads, footpaths, cycle lanes, parks and drainage features.
How can I get involved?
One of the core principles behind the Neighbourhood Plan is that it is a plan for the community by the community – so resident engagement and participation are key. In order for the Plan to be accepted, it must be demonstrated that there has been sufficient engagement with the community as a whole to ensure that all views have been taken into consideration. The community includes anyone who lives, works, owns property or a business in the village.
As a member of the community, you can get involved as much or as little as you like. If you have the time and inclination to take an active role and would like to have a say in the future of Arlesey, you are more than welcome to come along to the next meeting or contact us via Facebook or email (see details below). This is a major project and we can never have enough volunteers!
Alternatively, there will be a number of surveys to which you can respond, as well as public meetings where we will present ideas and look for feedback. The first survey is expected to be distributed with the next edition of onthebutton. It is important for the success of the plan that you as Arlesey residents respond and contribute to the surveys and public meetings. Without your input the plan will fail and a major opportunity to influence what happens to our community will be lost.
Also, keep an eye on this site and the Facebook page for more developments over the coming weeks and months.