Neighbourhood Plans return power over development to local people.

Since 2020, Planning Direct has been working closely alongside Ardleigh Parish Council to advance its Neighbourhood Plan. 

Ardleigh is a large rural parish in Essex. It sits on the outskirts of the main town of Colchester, close to the A12.

Neighbourhood Plans return power to locals

In spite of its deeply rural qualities, the parish’s proximity to Colchester and the A-road means it has taken more than its fair share of new development in recent years. This has included multiple major housing estates and employment sites. 

Much of this recent development has been against the wishes of local residents who are understandably keen for the special rural character of their historic village and its surrounding countryside to be preserved for future generations.

Neighbourhood Plans return power over development to local people

A Neighbourhood Plan is a powerful tool. It puts at least some control over development back in the hands of local people. It enables local residents to identify and encourage development that is to the benefit of their parish and empowers them to resist development that would cause their neighbourhood harm. 

In Ardleigh’s case, locals wanted to give additional support to sustainable and energy-efficient developments, new community facilities, small and independent local businesses and improvements to local cycling and walking networks.

Neighbourhood Plans return power to locals

Locals also wanted Ardleigh’s countryside and valuable green spaces to receive additional protection from intrusive and harmful development. 

Working alongside the Parish Council and a number of local residents, Planning Direct has assisted Ardleigh to translate these desires into Neighbourhood Plan policies. 

The final draft of Ardleigh’s Neighbourhood Plan was completed in August 2022. On 23rd September 2022, the proactive Parish Council completed its 6-week informal consultation with the local community (Regulation 14). The results of this public consultation will be published shortly. 

Next steps

Next, we will submit the Neighbourhood Plan to the Local Planning Authority, Tendring District Council. The District Council will then arrange for its independent examination by central government. 

Provided this all goes smoothly, the Neighbourhood Plan will be the subject of a local referendum. If a majority “yes” vote is received – and we suspect this will be the case, given the local response so far – the Neighbourhood Plan will be adopted and become a part of the statutory Development Plan in the parish.

This means all new development in Ardleigh will need to comply with the policies of the Ardleigh Neighbourhood Plan in addition to the policies of the Tendring Local Plan.  

You can find out more about Ardleigh’s Neighbourhood Plan on the Parish Council’s website. Access a copy here:

Planning Direct is proud of the role it has played in the preparation of this positive, community-led planning document and eagerly awaits its adoption. Watch this space for further updates!

Need help to tackle inappropriate development in your neighbourhood area? 

Planning Direct provides a wide range of services to assist local residents and Parish Councils. Our services include objections, representation at Planning Committee and Neighbourhood Plan development. You may even be entitled to government funding. 

Contact us today to find out how we can assist you. Our initial advice is always free of charge. 

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