Colmworth Neighbourhood Plan Update
On 30 October 2015 the CNPC Officers met with Paul Rowland, Kim Wilson and Sonia Gallaher of *Bedford Borough Council to resolve the issues arising from our Committee meeting on 7 October. A report will be given to the CNP committee at the next meeting on 18 November and it is hoped that this will allow us to proceed to discussion and agreement of the Colmworth NP Visions and Objectives consultation.
On 26 October we learnt that the consultant we had appointed to write the neighbourhood plan, Alex Munro of Maroon Planning, is to cease trading because he has taken employment with Robinson & Hall. Because of potential conflict of interest, he will not be able to work for us after 27th November. We will commence the search for another consultant.
On 15 October a meeting was held with Leslie Clarke and Georgina Parkinson of the housing association BPHA, who manage most of the social rented properties in Colmworth. The objective was to understand how affordable housing in all its various forms works and how BPHA could help us to deliver more affordable homes. The CNP committee will be briefed at the next meeting on 18 November.
On 7 October, using the same slides produced by BBC, David Michell made the same presentations to the Committee. It became apparent that David Mark’s interpretation of some of the key points in the presentation made by BBC was different from David Michell’s understanding, which led to very different conclusions about the need for a neighbourhood plan and the number of homes that BBC expected to be built in Colmworth. Clearly such inconsistency in interpretation had to be resolved before we could proceed with the NP.
Following this discussion, the Chairman (Rob Huddart) and Russell Jones (Treasurer) were confirmed in their respective roles but Lorraine Knight indicated that other commitments made it difficult for her to act as Secretary on a permanent basis and that she would like to make for someone who could devote the time. David Michell was re-elected to the Committee and also as Secretary.
The Officers of the Committee were tasked with arranging a meeting with Paul Rowland (BBC Planning Dept) to clarify understanding of the presentations.
Bedford Borough Council (BBC) launched Local Plan 2032, Consultation 2015 and held seminars for Parish Councillors and Neighbourhood Plan officers on 29 September and 1 October. The presentation included calculations of the number of additional new homes that were required to be built up to 2032 and policy proposals regarding the distribution of development in settlements across the Borough. The second part of the presentation concerned the neighbourhood plan process and how it should integrate with the Local Plan. These events were attended by David Marks and David Michell, respectively.
On 23 September 2015. There has been considerable turmoil within the Neighbourhood Plan Committee following Denis Smith’s resignation (as Secretary), for personal reasons, and differences in visions and objectives for the Plan, which led to resignations of the Chairman (David Michell) and subsequently the Treasurer (Nina Frew). At the *Committee meeting on 23 September new acting officers were elected, Rob Huddart (Chairman), Russell Jones (Treasurer) and Lorraine Knight (Secretary).
On 2nd March 2018. The turmoil continued in early 2016 and all but one officer of the Neighburhood Plan Committee resigned. Russell Jones then restarted the committee later in 2016. However, in 2017 / 2018 Bedford Borough Council launched their Local Plan 2035 which did not impose development on Group 3 villages such as Colmworth. The Parish Council are due to discuss whether a Neighbourhood Plan is still desirable in the context of this new Local Plan at their meeting on 7th March 2018. L. Crawford