“A good Neighbourhood Plan can be a foundation for a genuine village wide dialogue about the nature of the village and give people a real chance to have their say about their community.” – Mark Prisk MP

The Localism Act of November 2011 is an Act of Parliament that changes the powers of local government in England. The aim of the act is to help communities shape their places and to influence the type, quality and location of all developments, especially the building of new homes. It means that Parish Councils now have more power and influence over planning decisions within their areas. By early 2016, nearly 2000 local communities and parish councils had submitted Neighbourhood Plans. The number is growing all the time.

Little Hadham does not make planning decisions about Little Hadham. All planning decisions are made by East Herts Council in Hertford.

We know that East Herts Council are busy with a development plan which will see the Bishops Stortford area, other parts of East Herts and many local villages grow with new homes and schools over the next 15 or so years. It is estimated that there will be about 15,000 new homes built. This will include about 500 in villages.

Our Neighbourhood Plan will give us a legally binding say in those decisions – especially in the important area of where to build homes and what kind of homes to build.

But it’s not only about homes. New homes may mean other developments will be required, like jobs, school places, better broadband and even more places to park. It may also involve protecting the character of our village, the rural environment and the conservation area around the River Ash. We also need to think about what happens after the by-pass is completed in 2020.

There are lots of people and experts who do believe that a Neighbourhood Plan can only be a good thing. Here are some of these opinions –

“Neighbourhood Planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and deliver the sustainable development they need.”

Paragraph 183 National Planning Policy Framework

“Neighbourhood Planning is a right for communities introduced through the Localism Act 2011. Communities can shape development in their areas through the production of Neighbourhood Development Plans” – Royal Town Planning Institute