Katei Blezzard, Conservative Candidate for Primrose Ward, and Jimmy Newhouse, Conservative Candidate for Littlemoor Ward, are campaigning to make Clitheroe Town Council create a Neighbourhood Plan for Clitheroe. Both agree that this is '''the most important and key issue in these elections.''
Both candidates are Clitheroe residents aware of the problems of the Town and standing for both the Clitheroe Town Council and Ribble Valley Borough Council in by elections forced by the resignation of 2 Clitheroe Liberal Democrat Councillors who have left the area to live elsewhere.
Kevin Horkin former Clitheroe Town Council Mayor supporting the two candidates commented ''Whilst a Town Councillor I urged the Liberal Democrat dominated Town Council on 3 occasions to consider creating a Neighbourhood Plan for our town. It would have followed the example of Longridge, a smaller but very similar community to ours, in providing a third tier of legally enforceable requirements that applicants for planning permission would have to follow.''
''Any Council or group drafting a Neighbourhood Plan can apply for a government grant to help prepare it and as in the case of Longridge. RVBC planning department will work with the Town Council to complete the plan which will culminate in a referendum for residents in the whole of Clitheroe to approve it . The Town Council has never asked the residents what they think or want and unilaterally decided against any attempt at creating such a Plan.''
Neighbourhood Plans have been in existence since the Localism Act 2011 and in those 10 years Clitheroe residents have seen their green fields slowly disappear and the Lib Dems have been opposed to a third tier of planning regulation exclusively for Clitheroe which could have given more reasons to Borough Councillors to reject excessive housing
There are over a 1000 Neighbourhood Plans approved in England; mainly in beautiful rural towns and villages like Clitheroe which are under pressure from developers. Some local authorities like Daventry have 27 Neighbourhood Plans. Others cover wide areas like Eden Valley in Cumbria. As such it is not an answer to all excessive planning but gives Clitheroe residents an additional voice in shaping the future of their community.
Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Association, Hamish Mcfall commented ''The residents of both Littlemoor and Primrose wards deserve better than to be deserted by their previously elected Lib Dem Councillors. Those two Councillors, sitting on the Ribble Valley Borough Council (RVBC) by standing in May 2019, by implication promised to serve a full 4-year term. Instead, they have cut and run.
Now is the right time to elect two Conservatives as Councillors, two people who will serve their communities and serve their full term in the best interests of all people living in Littlemoor and Primrose.
The By-Elections are being held on Thursday 19th August. We urge all residents to use this opportunity to have their say and to vote for Blezzard in Primrose and Newhouse in Littlemoor.''
What is a neighbourhood plan in simple terms?
- 1. A document that sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area – planning policies are used to decide whether to approve planning applications.
- 2. Written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, rather than the Local Planning Authority.
- 3. A powerful tool to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place.
- It can cover the density of housing , the type of housing, affordable housing to help young people onto the housing ladder and bungalows for an increasingly ageing population. It also includes commercial and leisure development.
- 4. Neighbourhood plans can cover allocation of sites, density of housing, types of housing, infrastructure, contributions by developers to infrastructure ,green spaces. landscape, views, town centres and local employment. sites.