On 4th December 2020 the Bingham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee held an Extraordinary General Meeting at which they voted unanimously to dissolve the committee and cease work on the neighbourhood plan. We did this with sadness. We had made a good deal of progress producing an innovative plan that was appropriate for a net zero carbon future.
The Covid-19 restrictions meant that we have not been able to hold meetings or do any of the consultations we had planned since March and are unlikely to be able to restart until next summer. More seriously, changes to the planning regulations announced by the Minister this year have made it unclear how neighbourhood planning fits in the new arrangements. The borough council also has to rethink its schedule for the preparation for the Local Plan for the period after 2028, which is an important reference point for us. Without it we cannot proceed.
Our hope is that in the near future these problems will be resolved and a new neighbourhood plan group will form and continue with work we have started. Until then this web site will remain available as a reference to work done, but it will not be maintained.
When the community-led plan was published in June 2016 the two highest priority recommendations in it were to do a neighbourhood plan and build a community centre. The community centre seems always to be on the distant horizon, but work has now started on a neighbourhood plan. A committee of 15 was formed in January this year and we have met every month since. We have developed our strategic vision and work has started on the individual policies we wish to see in the plan.
The essence of a neighbourhood plan is that it is a statutory consultation document. In other words, the borough council planners have to consult it when making their decisions about Bingham. This means that the plan itself will be a collection of policies, developed by us in the community, which will say how we want Bingham to be developed in the future.
In order to get this right we will consult with the public as widely as we can. We will take the initiative in some instances, but we would also like you to contact us directly with your thoughts on the matter. You can so this through our website at any time.
Elsewhere on this site you will find our strategic statement. This came out of hard discussion over several meetings, but it was agreed unanimously at the end, so it will provide the philosophical and practical basis for all the work we will now do in developing policies.
We have also agreed a list of objectives and made our first attempt to define the policies that will enable us to achieve them. These you can also see on this site.
The way that you responded to the community-led plan questionnaire in 2015 was superb. Your responses enabled us to draw up a document that provides a sound base for our work on the neighbourhood plan. We need you to continue telling us what you want so that our aim to make Bingham more self sufficient and a place where people who live here can also work here, shop here, pursue the leisure activities here and find their entertainment here can be achieved.
Bingham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee
Any further major development in Bingham should be confined to the areas north of the railway line and east of Carnarvon Primary School. All green spaces within the built-up area, whether currently protected or not, should be preserved for public benefit.
All future development should facilitate the transition for Bingham from being a dormitory town towards being a more self-sufficient community that can serve as a commercial, employment and recreational hub for itself and the wider area around the town. It should be designed to ensure that the two halves of Bingham, north and south of the railway line, form a single entity.
The infrastructure (shops, industrial and other commercial areas, recreational facilities, schools, health service, transport links, broadband provision, charging points etc.) should be an integral part of the overall plan and developed at the same time as the housing. In addition, an employment strategy should be drawn up alongside the housing plan that reflects local needs and provides for all levels of ability.
The balance within the new housing provision must reflect the current and projected demographic structure of the community with accommodation for the retired and low waged integral to the plan.
All elements of the plan should be designed with the flexibility to adapt to predicted needs 30 to 50 years in the future. This should take into account the need to improve energy efficiency, anticipated changes arising from global warming, changes in the way power is generated and delivered to homes and businesses and in the provisions for personal transport.