The beginning: January/February 2014
The Steering Group
Loose Parish Council held a public meeting in January to set up its Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (LNPSG). A group* of nine (4 parish councillors and 4 Loose residents) plus a consultant from the Medway Valley Conservation Partnership was first established as the LNPSG, which held its first monthly meeting in February. Sue Grigg, our Borough Councillor, will also have regular contact with the group.
N.B. UPDATE-as at Aug 2018: Chairman-Cllr Jim Andrew; Vice Chair-Terry McKeown (voting Co-Opted member); Cllr Vianne Gibbons (Chairman to the LPC); Peter Gardner (Co-Opted voting member);Peter Rigby (Parish Councillor); Tony Oliver (Parish Councillor); Tom Oliver (Parish Councillor). Reg Langford (advisor)
The Neighbourhood Plan
The group is presently preparing the Loose Neighbourhood Plan (NP) which will cover the parish of Loose and embody a vision for the area for the next 20 years or so. A NP, first and foremost, controls the use of land and buildings. It can influence development, housing, housing design, protect and enhance community facilities, protect important local green spaces and the historic environment, and can affect transport and employment. It will have statutory force and once the process has concluded, it will then be taken into account in all planning matters to which it pertains.
Throughout the preparation of the plan it will be important that the content is drawn from the parish community. This will involve meetings, consultations, questionnaires, workshops for everyone to participate, so that local needs and desires are identified and reflected. It is important that the NP does not conflict with the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (MBLP) which is now in place.
When Loose has finalised its draft NP, it will require approval by MBC and then by an independent examiner. Finally, it will be the subject of a referendum by Loose voters. If the referendum is carried, the NP will become a statutory planning document to sit alongside the MBLP to form a planning framework.
Steering Group meetings
The group is coming towards the final stages of the project. Monthly meetings are held in the King George V Pavilion. They are all open to the public. All are welcome. You will be given the opportunity to speak should you so wish.