Whittlesey residents offered a greater say on planning applications

Whittlesey
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The whole of the parish of Whittlesey has been designated as a Neighbourhood Area, giving residents the chance to play a greater part in developments that take place in their community.

The application from Whittlesey Town Council was approved by Fenland District Council’s planning committee on April 29.

It means the town council can now go ahead with preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan or Neighbourhood Development Order.

Whittlesey Town Councillor Dee Laws has been working on the application alongside Cllr Alan Bristow.

She said: “We are only at the first stage and we now have to create a public forum so we will be inviting members of the public to come forward.

“This offers the people of Whittlesey and villages more of a voice in our planning applications and will highlight what the residents want.”

A Neighbourhood Plan can establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood, including where extra new homes and offices should be built and what they should look like.

The creation of the plan could take up to two years and would need the approval of the public in Whittlesey, Coates, Eastrea and Turves.

Residents of Whittlesey will be fully involved in the plan’s preparation and, ultimately, will have the right to vote for or against it.

A questionnaire will start being prepared and will then be widely distributed to residents.

If a Neighbourhood Plan is adopted, it would be considered alongside the district council’s Local Plan as well as national planning policy when the district council is deciding planning applications within the Whittlesey Neighbourhood Area.

The council is legally bound to give weight to the plan.

Cllr Laws added: “We’ve had tremendous support from the district council and in particular Emma Naylor.

“We have put the building blocks in place but we have to demonstrate the electorate wish us to continue.”

Full details of the designation and a map showing the boundary of the designated area are available at the Whittlesey Community Hub, at the library in Market Street, and town council notice boards.