The Cradley and Storridge Neighbourhood Plan is an opportunity for local residents to influence how Cradley and Storridge develop over the next twenty years and is part of the coalition government’s Localism Bill.
The planning system helps decide what gets built, where and when. Planning is essential for supporting economic growth, improving people's quality of life, and protecting the natural environment.
While the planning system provides opportunities for communities to get involved in development decisions that affect them, in practice they have often found it difficult to have a meaningful say. The introduction of neighbourhood planning puts power back in the hands of local residents, businesses, parish councils and civic leaders.
Communities will be in the driving seat of neighbourhood planning. The local parish or town council will lead the work. In areas without a parish council, new neighbourhood forums will take the lead. In areas which are predominately commercial, the neighbourhood forum can be led by a business neighbourhood forum.
The local planning authority must provide support and make the necessary decisions at key stages, for example, it will organise the independent examination and, where it is the responsible authority for running elections in the area, the neighbourhood referendum at the end of the process. The referendum ensures that the local community has the final say on whether a neighbourhood development plan, neighbourhood development order or a Community Right to Build order comes into force in their area.
What we aim to achieve
The results of this work should result in a robust neighbourhood plan which will be considered as a material consideration in any future decisions involving Cradley and Storridge planning applications, infrastructure and housing developments.
Background to the NDP
A Neighbourhood Plan is a new way of helping local communities influence planning decisions in the area where they live and work. It can be used to develop a vision for the future of the neighbourhood, to select possible ocations for new houses, offices, shops and facilities, to protect green spaces and to influence design.
In this case the Parish Council informed the Local Planning Authority that we wanted to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. The LPA agreed the area of the plan. It will now be up to the Neighbourhood Plan Team to prepare a document - encompassing physical plans and associated policies, through working with local residents and other stakeholders. The consultation process will include questionnaires and meetings. The completed Neighbourhood Plan is reviewed by an independent planning inspector , who can agree with it - or recommend changes. When the inspector, Local Planning Authority and Neighbourhood Planning Committee are happy with the plan , a local referendum will be held and if the majority of participating local residents support the plan , it will be adopted by the LPA. Like all local plans, a Neighbourhood Plan is likely to cover a set period of time—about 20 years (but reviewed periodically).
It is a fair question when one considers the amount of work which went into the development of the Cradley Parish Plan of 2010.The Parish Council considered – at some length – the pros and cons of staying with the existing Parish Plan or developing a Neighbourhood Plan. In the end, despite the huge workload required, the community benefits in developing a Neighbourhood Plan were decisive.
The whole purpose of Neighbourhood Planning and the point of localism is to give Neighbourhoods more of a say about development in their area. The Government wants local people to take a proactive role in shaping the future of the area in which they live. The finished plan (once approved) will mean that our community can Choose where we want new homes and other development.Choose what these buildings will look like.Grant planning Permission for the new buildings we want to see go ahead.However it is important to stress that the plan must conform generally with the strategic goals of the of the Local Planning authority and Central Government.
Provision of open space—Natural habitats—Supporting businesses---Community facilities---recreation---biodiversity and many other matters YOU may wish to suggest.
The Plan encompasses the entire Parish of Cradley though it should be stressed that this does not mean that the entire area is being considered for development.
Central Government will be approached for a grant of up to £7000. We are also likely to apply for a grant from the Lottery Fund. The fact that we have a recent Parish Plan which we can “build on” will save doing a substantial amount of research and therefore expense. We will publish our likely budget before the end of December 2014
We hope to have a plan in place by mid 2016 (revised from Spring 2015.)
Anyone interested in the Neighbourhood Plan can get involved. At present the Steering Committee comprises 6 people. The committee will increase in size slightly but the real need is for people who can bring specific skills-graphics-IT-photography-planning etc. and those just willing to do odd jobs such as delivering the questionnaires etc. The contact email address is