Village Meeting – Neighbourhood Plan

There will be a meeting at the Village Hall on 26th October 2016 at 7pm to seek community support for the production of a Neighbourhood Plan for Beech.

Neighbourhood plans are important because they have legal status. Local councils and planning inspectors must make their planning decisions on the basis of the policies contained in the Neighbourhood Plan, thus enabling Beech residents to have a much bigger say in how much development takes place, where it is located, and the design factors that suit the environment of that area.

Many other settlements in East Hampshire have produced such plans, including Four Marks and Medstead, Bentworth and Alton. Government housing policy means that further development of the village is almost inevitable, and we can either positively plan for it or leave it to the developers and/or East Hampshire District Council to make all the decisions. Without a Neighbourhood Plan we are more at risk of over-development and will be less able to influence change in our area. Recent proposals for development came as a shock to many and while a detailed planning application has not yet materialised, we believe it is still being progressed.

Having an agreed Neighbourhood Plan would give us the opportunity to set out a positive vision of how our community should develop over the next five, ten or fifteen years, and allow us to put in place the planning policies that we believe should control delivery of that vision. This is why it is important that we have your support at the meeting in the Village Hall on the 26th October 2016. We will have Christopher Napier of Campaign to Protect Rural England with us to demonstrate the process required to produce an acceptable plan, and explain the funding that is available to assist in this process.

If there is sufficient support from the village we would hope to set up a Steering Group to oversee the production of the Plan, and we look forward to seeing you on the 26th October 2016 at 7pm.