NEWS: Acle Neighbourhood Plan – Successful second public consultation event

The Acle Neighbourhood Plan Working Group recently held its second major public consultation event at the Acle Recreation Centre.  The purpose of the event was to ask the community whether they agreed or disagreed with an initial set of policies that could form the core of the Acle Neighbourhood Plan.

Around fifty residents from Acle and the surrounding villages attended on the day.  The policies which local residents were asked to consider were based on the results of previous public consultation and a programme of research.  The response to the draft policies which was recorded was overwhelmingly positive.

Initial ideas for Neighbourhood Plan policies include:

  • Reducing speeds and introducing a pedestrian crossing over the A1064
  • Encouraging new leisure and tourism uses at Acle Bridge
  • Improving the public realm in the village centre
  • Creating better pedestrian links to the surrounding countryside
  • Supporting the development of space for new local businesses.

The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group is now analysing the response to the consultation event and amending and updating the draft policies where necessary.

The Working Group hopes to produce a first draft of the Neighbourhood Plan in the next few weeks.  Once a draft has been prepared copies will be provided for review and comment by the local community.

Further information about the event is available from the following sources:

Editors notes:

Acle Parish Council made an application to Broadland District Council and the Broads Authority to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan, which has now been accepted. The Parish Council has set up the Neighbourhood Plan working group which includes a cross section of community organisations and stakeholders, such as the Acle Society, Acle Recreation Centre, Acle Academy, Acle Youth Club, Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council and Broads Authority.

Neighbourhood Planning is a new community-led planning initiative that has emerged from the Government’s Localism Bill. It gives local people new rights to help shape the development of the communities they live in. Neighbourhood Plans allow local communities to set out planning policies on the development and use of land in the ‘neighbourhood area’, in Acle’s case the neighbourhood area is likely to be the civil parish. Any policies included within the Neighbourhood Plan will need to conform to strategic planning policies and guidance at the local, national and european level. They will also need to demonstrate support from the local community. Once adopted a Neighbourhood Plan becomes a statutory planning document which means that it is material consideration in determining any planning application within its boundaries.

Acle Parish Council has chosen to progress a Neighbourhood Plan following on from the work on the Village Economic Masterplan which is currently being finalised. The Village Economic Masterplan, which focussed on developing projects to help support and enhance the local economy, proposed a number of projects that would benefit from being included within a Neighbourhood Plan. By including these projects in a Neighbourhood Plan it will make them easier to deliver, as they have the support of a statutory planning document and a stronger chance of attracting funding.

Acle Parish Council is working with Ingham Pinnock Associates to prepare the plan. Ingham Pinnock Associates will provide support and guidance on technical aspects of the process.