Communities have been given the power to produce their own neighbourhood plan through the Localism Act. Using these powers the Town Council is currently preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan for Cramlington. The plan is the community’s opportunity to take the lead on where and how future development takes place in the local area.
What is a neighbourhood plan?
Neighbourhood planning aims to give communities more of a say in the development of their local area. It empowers communities to shape the development and growth of the area where they live and work. Through neighbourhood planning, communities can:
- choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, and
- have a say on what the new buildings should look like and the infrastructure that should be provided
Neighbourhood Planning powers were created by the Localism Act in 2011. They represent the transfer of some planning powers from the County Council to Town and Parish Councils and the communities they represent.
Neighbourhood Plans are planning policy documents produced by communities for their area. They can be used to set locally specific land use policies and allocate land for certain types of development which the community wants to promote.
Once adopted the Plan will be used to make decisions on all relevant planning applications. They are a powerful tool for local communities to use in helping to shape the way a local area develops in the future.
There are 5 key stages in developing a neighbourhood plan;
- Area designation
- Preparing and publicising the Plan
- Submitting the Plan
- Independent examination
The Steering Group
A Steering group made up of local councillors, residents, community groups and business representatives, has been established to guide preparation of the Plan. The Steering Group is chaired by Cllr John Collins and includes the following members:
- Cllr John Collins – Cramlington Town Council
- Cllr Christine Dunbar- Cramlington Town Council
- Cllr David Murray – Cramlington Town Council
- Cllr Barry Flux – Northumberland County Council
- Bruno Coppola – Manor Walks Shopping Centre
- Gerry Sothcott – Cramlington Development Trust
- Vivien Fish – Local Business Owner
- Hazel Sisterson – Cramlington Save Our Space (SoS)
- Peter Clayton – Cramlington Learning Village
- A representative of the Arcot consortium
Cramlington is located in the south east of Northumberland, approximately 9 miles north of Newcastle and 6 miles west of the coast. It is a new town which has developed over the last 40 years around the original mining village.
A proposal to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for Cramlington as part of a national pilot project was submitted in 2012. The proposal was accepted into the government’s ‘front runner’s’ programme, which comprises pilot schemes that seek to test new Neighbourhood Planning powers.
The original plan for Cramlington new town envisaged 4 development sectors, 3 residential and 1 industrial. A key objective in preparing the Neighbourhood Plan is to aid the completion of the town as originally envisaged through development of the South West Sector. In addition to this a number of issues related to the whole of the town were identified and it was subsequently decided by the Town Council that a Neighbourhood Plan should guide development in the whole of the Cramlington civil parish area.
After a period of consultation with local stakeholders the following has been endorsed by the neighbourhood plan steering group.
Cramlington will continue to grow, becoming a successful sustainable community. It will strive to become the main town in the county and one of its principal gateways.
Cramlington will be transformed into Northumberland’s Garden Town thereby creating a distinct identity for its residential and business communities and visitors.
- Investing in our Infrastructure
- Protecting our Public Spaces
- Enhancing our Open Spaces
- Improving our Environment
- Promoting Sustainable Modes of Transport
- Integrating Sustainable Transport Modes
- Improving our Town Centre
- Completing our Town
- Extending Choice in the Housing Market
- Extending the Provision of Social, Recreational, Educational and Cultural Facilities
- Reinforcing Cramlington’s Sub-regional Employment Role