The Pennine edge community of Littleborough is warming up to start production of a Neighbourhood Plan to guide future development, regeneration and conservation in its area.
Following the designation of the neighbourhood plan area last year and the establishment of a Neighbourhood Forum and Committee to manage the Plan process, work has started on moving the project forward.
On Saturday 1st February, over 20 volunteer members of the Littleborough community, including local councillors and members of the Civic Trust and other local organisations, gave up their Saturday afternoon to attend a three hour training and workshop session led by Carol Latham of Planning Aid England. Also delivering the training and workshops, were Rochdale Council planning officers, Wayne Poole and Keerpa Patel and the Forum’s independent planning consultant, Paul Simpson of PPS Planning Manchester.
Forum secretary, Iain Gerrard said, “the Plan presents a great opportunity for the community to have more say in what happens in the town in the future. This Plan is for all the people of Littleborough and we want as many of them as possible to get involved. We are pleased to have Paul Simpson (PPS Planning Manchester) providing us with independent consultancy support to help us write our plan and to complement support from Planning Aid and Rochdale Council."
Paul Simpson told the volunteers, “I believe the Littleborough community can do this well. I have worked in the past with the Civic Trust on the Town Design Statement which is a great example of how a community can mobilise itself to help improve its area.”
John Kay (Treasurer of the Littleborough Forum) said, “We need many more Littleborough people to join the forum and everyone is welcome to attend the next meeting of the Littleborough Neighbourhood Forum Committee which will be held at Littleborough Coach House at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11th February 2014.
A launch campaign will be organised very soon and volunteers will start work on gathering information before a Draft Plan is prepared for public consultation in a few month’s time. Before the final Plan can become operational, it must be scrutinised by an independent examiner and be subject to a public referendum.
Anyone who lives or works in Littleborough is welcome to join the Forum. Further details are on
the Littleborough Neighbourhood Forum website
More about Neighbourhood Plans
The Localism Act in 2011 gave communities the right to play a greater role in shaping the future of their area by preparing a Neighbourhood Plan. The Plan can include policies and proposals to improve the area (e.g. policies for housing, employment, heritage and transport) and to decide where new development should take place. The Plan will also be used by the Local Planning Authority (Council) when assessing any planning applications in the area but it must comply with national and strategic local policies and the relevant legislation.
After the Draft Plan has been publicised and comments considered, the Local Authority will publish the final Plan. This must then be submitted to an independent Examiner. If the Examiner considers it can meet the 'basic conditions' set down in the legislation (with or without modifications), it will go before a Public Referendum. For the Plan to become operational, 50% or more of those voting need to vote in favour of the Plan.
For more information on Neighbourhood Planning, visit:
The Littleborough Neighbourhood Forum web site
The Rochdale online community web page
My Community Rights
Nuts and Bolts training workshop, Littleborough, 1st Feb 2014