About Cirencester Neighbourhood Plan
The Cirencester Neighbourhood Plan project has been launched by Cirencester Town Council to build on previous place shaping work, such as the Community Plan ‘Our Future Cirencester’, the Public Realm Design Code and planning Concept Statement. This previous work can be viewed at https://cirencester.gov.uk/planning-and-development
Now is the time for the community to be given the opportunity to shape planning policy for future generations; a Neighbourhood Plan gives you, the people who know and love Cirencester, a real voice and input to agree a future vision for your Cirencester, through planned sustainable growth, which meets community need and protects Cirencester’s unique qualities.
A community-led Steering Group has been appointed to lead on the preparation of the plan and Cirencesternp.org is the place where you can find out more and play your part.
Cirencester Town Council undertakes a role of advocacy and leadership on behalf of the community and represents the community when responding to planning applications. The Town Council also has a role in representing the needs of the community with Cotswold District Council in respect of forward planning and Gloucestershire County Council in respect of highways and transport.
The Neighbourhood Plan has a designated area; this is the town boundary of Cirencester covering each of the eight election ward boundaries of Abbey, Beeches, Chesterton, Four Acres, New Mills, St Michael’s, Stratton and Watermoor.
A Neighbourhood Plan is a document which sets out community ideas and plans for change in a local area; it is written by a community-led Steering Group which will work closely with the public to identify and evidence the ideas and need for change.
Whilst the Plan cannot be in direct conflict with national or local planning policy, it does have legal weight in planning law and will reflect the views of the local community; it is an important opportunity for the public to be able to:
· increase well-being (e.g. walking and cycling, green spaces, social assets);
· get community funding for projects considered important by the community;
· attract business and employment to the area;
· influence decisions made by Cotswold District Council and Gloucestershire County Council;
· have greater control over future development (e.g. housing which meets local need, size and scale, design and location).
The process for preparing the Neighbourhood Plan has to follow 4 steps and each step of the way you will have the chance to be heard, involved and to make a difference. This is an important document and why it can’t be written overnight.
Step 1. Your ideas (Mar – Apr 2020)
What is important to you and what change would you like to see in Cirencester? This is an opportunity for the public to tell us through comment cards, on-line surveys or at one of our drop-in events.
Step 2. Making a plan (Apr 20 – Feb 21)
Once we have collated your comments, the community-led Steering Group will be able to start to shape the draft Neighbourhood Plan.
This step will involve evidence based research and further engagement with the public through themed focus groups on specific topics.
Step 3. Feedback and a final plan (Feb 21 – Jan 22)
Once the draft Plan is complete you will have the opportunity to let us know what you think. A final plan will then be prepared and submitted to Cotswold District Council for comment, as the local planning authority. The District Council will also arrange for an independent planning inspector to comment on the plan.
Step 4. Local referendum (Spring 2022)
Once these comments are received and responded to, the District Council will arrange a local referendum to ask all registered voters in Cirencester if they support the Plan or not.
If the Plan is supported it will become planning policy and be used by the local planning authority in determining future planning applications.