Update on Heslington Neighbourhood Plan
Heslington Parish Neighbourhood Plan
Statement from Heslington Parish Council.
Further to comments received by the Parish Council after the vote on whether to support the Neighbourhood Plan proceeding to referendum, the Council wish to issue a statement setting out their current position.
Heslington Parish Council are very appreciative of the excellent work put in voluntarily over a long period by members of the working group. The high quality of the work, in a complex planning background, is acknowledged by all concerned. The Parish Council are united behind the importance of having a neighbourhood plan.
We wish to assure residents that at their meeting on Monday 26 April 2021, the Parish Council did not vote to withdraw the Plan altogether. This was discussed as an option and it was immediately ruled out.
the Examiner has recommended the Plan may proceed to referendum, this will be with three policies deleted:
- Purpose built student accommodation
- Vehicular and pedestrian traffic
- Traffic in Heslington conservation area, and
- Site 3 - Elvington Airfield Grasslands western end removed from Green Infrastructure
as the current Plan’s rationale, evidence base and drafting are insufficient to support these policies.
This means that the Parish Council was faced with two less than ideal options to vote upon:
Option 1) withdraw the current Plan, amend the policies with the necessary rationale and evidence base and following consultation, resubmit amended Plan to referendum.
Option 2) submit the current Plan to referendum, with the policies deleted.
After referendum , amend with the additional policies supported with the necessary rationale and evidence base and following consultation submit for a 2nd referendum.
Both options would hopefully result in a Neighbourhood Plan being adopted (subject to referendum) but would require further work to get the full Neighbourhood Plan we desire.
The Parish Council believes the two options are different routes to the same end point and both routes are not without their merits and their risks.
Concerns have been raised with the Parish Council regarding their decision. These will be noted as we look to move forward.
At this time the Parish Council is currently making further enquiries into, and gathering information on, the practical impacts of this decision in terms of timings, financial implications and work required for the options above. Financial assistance is available for both options.
The Parish Council has a responsibility to submit the best version of the plan they can in order to protect the Parish, Heslington Village and its surroundings, and remain open minded on how best this can and should be achieved. The Council appreciate the feedback they have received.
COVID-19 UPDATE FUTURE MEETINGS
Legislation allowing Parish Councils to meet remotely ended on 7 May 2021. Therefore, any future meetings will be face-to-face.
Subject to risk assessments and Covid safety compliance, Parish Council meetings can take place, but this may not be until July 2021. In the meantime, the Parish Council will continue its work.