Thumbs up for Stannington’s neighbourhood plan

Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

The Stannington Parish Neighbourhood Plan will now come into force after the Yes vote won by a large margin.

The ten policies in the plan will be used to assist Northumberland County Council planning officers in their decisions regarding any future applications for the area.

A total of 177 people voted Yes and there were 52 No votes. The referendum took place last Thursday.

Stannington Parish Council chairman Karen Carins said: “Our neighbourhood plan is designed by our residents for our residents and will shape the future of our area.

“Stannington Parish Council is extremely grateful for all the support it received and respects the commitment and dedication of the Steering Group, who met every month for nearly four years, to gather the evidence required for the plan.

“Members of the group attended planning camps in York and Sheffield where they were supported by other neighbourhood plan groups.

“The process, even in the preparation of the plan, has been valuable, in itself, in building an even stronger community.

“It has given everyone more confidence in all things planning related and it has helped form a better understanding and a greater respect for all our business partners.

“Many of the issues and wishes that came about during the consultations and drop-in events have already been realised and resolved.

“The input from our local farmers, businesses and groups has also been invaluable.

“Our planning consultant and the county council Neighbourhood Planning Team’s advice and support kept us on the right path and meant that we had a sound plan to present to our residents.”

She added: “We worked with a Newcastle University Planning Professor and his final year students on understanding good design in planning.

“We spoke to first year planning students, at the university, about the importance of taking the myths out of planning and the use of a simpler language in planning terms.

“This is reflected in our neighbourhood plan. It has been written in a way that we can all understand.

“We did a presentation for Stannington First School, which was an eye-opening experience.

“Our youngsters are very clued up on planning issues and they came up with some excellent planning ideas.

“Obviously a sweet shop, a playground and, thoughtfully, a doctor’s surgery were some of the ideas that the children felt were important.”