Kingswood Village - News
Kingswood - Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)
Future Planning Policy
As you are probably already aware, major changes have been taking place in planning policy throughout the UK. As a result, the former Borough Local Plan setting out planning policy for the area is in the process of being replaced with a new Core Strategy document which is to form the basis of future planning. However it will only provide broad brush planning policy for the area and is not designed to cover local planning issues.
If you attended the last Residents' Association AGM, you may recall that ideas were discussed for forming either a Neighbour Forum or a Parish Council to try and give residents more say in local planning, but neither was straightforward. On further investigation either option would in any event have taken several years to introduce, when what was needed was a more immediate solution.
Shortly before this, the Council invited the KRA to draft a policy document called a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) specifically to address local planning in Kingswood. Accepting that the other options would take too long, the committee felt unanimously that this opportunity should be seized. This document has since been prepared and will shortly be submitted formally to the Council which will decide on the final content. It is hoped however that our draft will provide a major input into the final version of the SPD which will have official status and will sit beneath the Core Strategy.
It is of course essential to reflect the views of the whole community in the draft SPD and with this in mind, the KRA will shortly issue every household with a questionnaire, so that all residents and local businesses can record their views. As a separate and later exercise, the Council also has a statutory duty to consult all residents before adopting the final version of the SPD, so unavoidably a second consultation will be required at that point. We know that many residents have views about how the planning process should apply in Kingswood and this is a rare opportunity to express those thoughts in a way which will directly influence local planning. The final content of the SPD would be reflected both in Council decisions at first instance and also in any appeal decisions.
The Council has already seen the draft informally. Much of it appears to have been accepted without objection, although we know that some elements of the content are not agreed. Once we have your views however, we will finalise the draft and submit it formally. We will then press for the final version to be as close as possible to the submitted draft. This project has required us to retain professional help and has therefore involved cost. It has also taken a great deal of time for those committee members involved over the last year, but should result in much clearer planning controls specifically tailored to our locality.
You will not necessarily need to read the SPD in order to complete the questionnaire, but if you wish to do so, it is available on the link below. Sight of a printed copy can be arranged on request.
Please therefore take a few minutes to complete and return the questionnaire when it arrives to add to the weight of supporting evidence. The draft SPD will then be checked and if necessary amended to ensure that it fully reflects the opinions received. It will then be submitted to the Council together with the returned questionnaires as supporting evidence.
Des Camblin Chairman, Kingswood Residents Association
To view the Draft SPD please click here
To view the questionnaire, please click here
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