Being involved with the Lydiate Neighbourhood Plan, although still reasonably sceptical of the limited scope of Neighbourhood Planning generally, I thought looking at a plan that was at a pretty advanced stage from a local perspective would be useful. Here’s a link to the joint Neighbourhood Plan of Formby and Little Altcar Parish Councils:-
I have always looked upon the Neighborhood Planning process in a similar way to how I look at the Merseyside Devolution Deal – They are both too subservient to powers and plans above them in the democratic hierarchy. In other words they are hand me downs giving the feeling of more local control when in fact the additional local control is actually quite negligible.
In Sefton I have often said that the Labour-run Borough Council has promoted them more as an apology for it allocating acre upon acre of high grade agricultural land and Green Belt for building development. You may also recall that at one point Labour sources locally seemed to be trying to put out the message that a Neighbourhood Plan could restrict the development on Green Belt! I right old made up story if I ever heard one.
Anyway that’s off my chest again so back to the Neighbourhood Plans that are being put together locally. Formby and Little Altcar seem to have tried very hard to make a successful and influential Plan but it still has to go via a Planning Inspector and a referendum of electors in those two Civil Parishes.
The section of the Formby Plan copied below struck me as I know only too well how flooding concerns in that community are significant and how there is a great concern that proposed developments may well inadequately tackle what is in reality a Countrywide concern:-
Producing this Plan has been extremely difficult taking into account the various constraints on the land and concerns of local people.
Unfortunately, the planning system, in its current form, is unable to take an holistic approach when addressing flooding and flood risk to the
community. As this plan has not allocated any land but works with land already allocated via the emerging Sefton Local Plan, we reserve our
right to object to any application that does not demonstrate that it has fully addressed the flooding issues. The evidence base and flood
management section of this Plan demonstrates beyond any doubt that the community is determined to do something meaningful with
regards to addressing the very real ongoing risk of flooding in Formby.
I will post about Lydiate’s progress along the Neighbourhood Plan route in the not too distant future.