The Ickford Neighbourhood Plan has now successfully been through Independent Examination, and has been posted on AVDC’s now (Buckinghamshire County – Aylesbury Vale area) website. It would normally proceed straight away to a Referendum with the villagers, and if it were to get a majority vote, would then be formally adopted.
However due to the postponement of elections by HMG, have said no referendums can take place before 6 May 2021 and the referendum version posted on this site is for information only, it is not a consultation.
So what does this mean for Ickford? In decision-making terms: Where the local planning authority has issued a decision statement (as set out under Regulation 25 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012) detailing its intention to send a neighbourhood plan to referendum, that plan can be given significant weight in decision-making, so far as the plan is material to the application.
Click on image to view the pdf document, or click on the small screen to view online version.
I have just received this letter (below) – it looks as if the earliest we can now have a referendum on the INP will be 6th May 2021 – such a shame after all the hard work that has been done, but then it is out of our hands.
Regulations linked to the Coronavirus Act 2020 mean that no elections or referendums can take place until 6 May 2021. This includes neighbourhood planning referendums. These provisions will be kept under review and may be amended or revoked in response to changing circumstances.
MHCLG understands this will be frustrating for communities that have dedicated significant time and effort to the neighbourhood planning process and naturally want their plans to come into force as soon as possible. With this in mind, they have updated current planning guidance to set out that neighbourhood plans awaiting referendums can be given significant weight in decision-making.MHCLG recognises there will be delays in progressing neighbourhood plans due to the social distancing measures currently in place across the UK. The updated planning guidance also provides further advice on the implications for conducting publicity and consultation, and examinations.
Grants and technical support will continue to be available to support communities during the next financial year, and Locality’s advice service continues to operate as normal.
As set out in the recently published Chief Planner’s newsletter, MHCLG will allow local authorities to make claims for new burdens grants at an earlier point in the neighbourhood planning process.
There are also some COVID-19 FAQ notes for help with your Neighbourhood Plan during this time.
After many months of hard work and community engagement, Ickford Parish Council submitted it’s final version of the Ickford Neighbourhood Development Plan. AVDC as the local authority will undertake a six week publication period to provide an opportunity for all parties to comment on the submitted proposals before the plan goes to examination. The consultation dates for the publication period are Wednesday 22 January 2020 to Wednesday 4 March 2020 closing at 5.15pm.
The Neighbourhood Plan and associated support documents have now been submitted to AVDC for their review and for the final round of consultation. Following this, it will be submitted for independent assessment and, once over all these hurdles, will be put forward for a ‘referendum’ within the village. It might be premature to say the end is in sight as there are likely to be further changes due to the second round of consultation and the review, but hopefully after two years of dedication and hard work by the team, this may be the case.
Following a short delay, the Ickford Neighbourhood Plan is now back-on-track
The public enquiry into 42 Worminghall Road and the subsequent possibility of a Judicial Review into the outcome, resulted in almost 3 months delays to progressing the Neighbourhood Plan, due in the main to the impact that this development will have on the settlement boundary and proposed policies.
Now we know that there will not be a review, we can make the required adjustments to the plan, and it is now the intention of the team to have this and the required background evidence and other supporting documents submitted to AVDC by the end of October. This should allow the next 6 week statutory consultation period to be completed, we hope before Christmas, so that final adjustments can be done before the formal independent examination and referendum.
It is a very lengthy and cumbersome process, and we would not be as advanced as we are were it not for the commitment and dedication of the team.
We will keep publishing updates on the website and in the Ickford Informer.
Despite the uncertainty created by waiting for the Inspectors’ decision on the Public Inquiry for 42 Worminghall Road, and the impact a decision in favour of this would have on the Neighbourhood plan, we are continuing with the process. The revisions required to go to the next level of consultation and then independent examination are nearly complete, and we remain broadly on track with our timescale.
Now that the public consultation period has ended, the team has been reviewing the comments received on the draft Neighbourhood Plan. We had some good constructive comments and a lot of support for the Plan. Comments were received from, amongst others, Land & Partners, Pegasus Group on behalf of Cala Homes, AVDC, Bucks County Council, Natural England, River Thame Conservation Trust, and local residents. Where relevant and constructive, these will be incorporated within the NP, and we hope to be able to submit it for formal independent examination within the first two weeks of July.
The Draft Neighbourhood Plan for Ickford has now been submitted to AVDC, English Heritage, English Nature and the Environment Agency as part of the statutory consultation process. It sets out the 15 year vision for the Village. Once comments are received back from the above organisations there will be a full consultation process for Villagers of Ickford to comment on the plan. Also as part of the consultation process, if any local landowner, Parish Council, any village organisation, group or other interested party would like to see and comment on the Neighbourhood Plan, details can be found on below or email us at email@example.com to request a copy.
The team met again this month and good progress on the plan is being made. The aim remains to lodge the draft plan for ‘Scoping’ of the draft policies by AVDC and other statutory consultative bodies, before Christmas.
The group have also identified 17 properties in the Village that are deemed important for visual sightlines and the overall ambiance of the community. These are not ‘listed’ buildings and therefore of regional or national importance, but ones which, should a development be proposed close by, or for example in a neighbouring field, would be afforded additional ‘protection and consideration’ so as to reduce any possible impact thereon. To do this they would have to be included on a local Heritage list. This in no way fetters or obligates the owners in any way, neither does it impose any restrictions or cost on them. We are in the process of discussing this with them.
Many villages in the UK are under threat from massive development and over expansion. The prospect of new homes being constructed with no proper infrastructure draws closer, with locals able to do nothing about it.
WHAT IS ICKFORD DOING ABOUT IT?
We are producing our Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP). The ‘Vision for Ickford’ NDP is a document being produced by a local committee linked to the Ickford Parish Council setting out the future of our community for 15-20 years, which has legal weight in planning decisions and village growth. ‘What is a Neighbourhood Plan’.
POORLY PLANNED OVERDEVELOPMENT IN BAMPTON
View this link concerning the village of Bampton in the Cotswolds.
It is an example of what could happen to Ickford if no NDP is developed. This film aims to illustrate dramatically how Bampton is beginning to change and not for the better – it could already be too late for them.
Please support the development of the ‘Vision for Ickford NDP’. Send us your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or add your comments to the end of the postings, having read the contents within this website.
We are carrying out a survey of the wildlife in Ickford village and would like you the villagers, to record the species you see. Plese click this link ICKFORD WILDLIFEand download the form. Tick the relevant boxes when you see each species. There is no hurry to return this form as some time will be needed to accumulate your records. Once completed, please send to the address on the form.
We have had another very good meeting this month and are moving ahead with a Sustainability Appraisal and Scoping Report with Background Evidence! If you have not already switched off by that, the aim of this report is to take the key issues that we now have in the village and support these with factual and supported evidence, that would stand up to scrutiny for the objectives and policies we will be developing.
Questionnaires – some more have been returned, so we now have participation from 72% of households. A great achievement!
We also want to find out how many ‘wells’ there are in Ickford. Do you have one in your garden? If so, please let us know by emailing on email@example.com.
Chris Sandham is making good progress with the Wildlife and Tree survey, but still needs more help in recording sightings around the village. We are working on putting an interactive facility for this on our website, but in the meantime if you have seen something unusual or want to help Chris with this, he would love to hear from you. Please contact Chris on firstname.lastname@example.org or download and fill out the WILDLIFE FORM and return it to the address on the form.
We are updating this website regularly, and all postings have a response section at the end of each of the articles for you to add your thoughts and comments. (Just click on the ‘leave a comment’ link or the ‘article title’ or the title within the ‘recent posts’ section and this will take you to the article. At the bottom you can reply leaving your comment. Once confirmed it is not spam it will be published).
Not only do we want to add the wildlife section, but also a ‘photo book’ of old photos of interest about the village (don’t forget if you have some we would love to borrow and scan them for this). We will soon be adding Jo Tiddy’s excellent report on Heritage within the Village. So much going on and for you to look at.
Finally, we aim to have another opportunity for you to come and see the work of the team, and give us your comment, input and feedback. This has been provisionally set for 15th September, and more information will follow on the next update.
Over 80 people stopped by, we had some excellent interest and feedback, and were able to fill some of the gaps in our information gathering.
A copy of the full presentation is now available on this site Ickford Vision Presentation, and there are some fascinating statistics and views of the village therein. For example, from the questionnaire returns we have on average 2.9 cars per household against a national average of 1.2; we have on average 2.5 residents per property, but 3.4 bedrooms (against a national average of 2.3 and 2.9 respectively); and on average residents have lived in the village for 16.5 years – the longest living resident in the village we have found, has lived here for 79 years!
Questionnaires – over 70% of households have now returned the questionnaires, so the participation is excellent. If you still have not returned yours, please do so by dropping it into Jan Jones at 1 Church Road. If you have lost yours and need another copy, please email email@example.com.
Wildlife survey – As part of the Neighbourhood Plan we will be undertaking a survey of the wildlife in the village – reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and moths, bats, mammals, native and migrant birds, and your help is need to record sightings. Chris Sandham is heading up this initiative and would love to hear from you if you can help. I am assured no experience is necessary, just a keen eye and some enthusiasm! If you or any member of your family would like to help, then please contact Chris on firstname.lastname@example.org. Download the WILDLIFE FORMhere.
Harry Butler and the Photographic Club are all helping us with photos of the village and surrounds, but we are also trying to get hold of any historic photos, pictures or prints of the village and past residents. Do you have any? If so, may we scan them? Please email on email@example.com
The data gathering through the village questionnaire is now well advanced. We received a 70% response rate which is excellent, and is due in the main to the dedication of the team, and the interest that they have been able to generate in the village.
Our first public display was at the Village Fete on Bank Holiday Monday. Attached (links below) is a copy of the information we explained on our display boards. What has come from the research to date is that we have a population that is typically above average of Aylesbury Vale (49 v 40), we have on average 2.5 residents per property but 3.4 bedrooms, and 2.9 cars per property (UK 1.2) – reflecting the rural location and poor/unreliable public transport. We have a disproportionate number of large detached properties, and a paucity of properties for first time buyers/ downsizers.
We will now be moving on to producing our policies for consultation.
The ‘Vision for Ickford’ stand, presentation and information collected was shown for the first time to the attendees of the Ickford Village Fete on Bank Holiday Monday. The fete was well attended by the villagers and visitors. We had considerable interest in the project and over 80 villagers spend time at the display, and were engaged in conversation and very interested in adding to our data.
Stephanie Buller, Neighbourhood Planning Officer, AVDC, commented, “Truly excellent work, well done to all the team, the survey result is brilliant and I can see that clearly a lot of work has been put into the analysis and presentation of the findings, this is really good work and will help a lot when it comes to developing the plan itself. – Keep up the good work.”
Below are some images of visitors to the stand showing interest in the development of the project.
The Neighbourhood Plan establishes a vision of our parish in 2033 and sets out a number of objectives through which the Vision will be achieved. The Vision and Objectives should reflect, among other things, the issues raised during consultations with the villagers of Ickford.
In 15 years’ time, Ickford will still be an independent and distinctive community comprising both Ickford and Little Ickford, conserving and enhancing its rich architectural and environmental heritage for the benefit of villagers and for future generations. We will endeavour to protect and enhance those characteristics which make Ickford a place that people choose to live in and enjoy.
To find opportunities for landscape, recreational and ecological gain whilst minimizing the impact of new development.
To protect, improve and extend where possible the village’s open spaces.
To protect the landscape setting and rural character.
To protect and enhance the historic and architectural environment of the village and its surroundings.
To conserve and protect biodiversity.
To provide existing and future residents with good housing.
To provide a limited amount of housing to meet local needs including a range of affordable homes.
To provide an appropriate mix of housing for the elderly, who may wish to downsize, and for first time buyers.
To ensure that all new housing is of quality design using materials that enhance local distinctiveness, at the same time ensuring that flooding risk and proper drainage are given priority.
To keep all new developments small in keeping with the character of the village.
To attempt where possible to give priority to people with local connections.
To ensure that all new development, location and design is resilient to the effects of climate change and flooding.
Traffic and Transport
To reduce the negative impact of traffic and encourage safe walking and cycling.
To ensure new developments have stated plans for the improvement of parking, accessibility and traffic flow.
To improve the footpath network as an amenity and improve access to village facilities.
To position developments of any kind such that current problems with congestion, safety and parking are not exacerbated and, if possible, reduced.
To enhance the prospects for local employment and business growth.
To support local businesses and employment opportunities, including home working.
To provide local, affordable housing for local employees.
To ensure that up to date communication services are available to businesses.
To maintain the character, culture and vitality of the village as a thriving community.
To ensure housing development has actionable and enforceable plans to enhance the community and facilities.
To work towards maintaining the village’s diversity and demographic balance as part of housing policy
To protect important village assets. These are, in alphabetical order, church, heritage and conservation areas, recreation ground, pub, school and shop.
The Ickford NDP will be monitored on an annual basis by local planning authorities and the Parish Council.
To ensure plans and policies are met.
To keep villagers up to date on issues and progress.
By collecting when necessary views from villagers and relevant date to enable progress to be measured.