Nick Boles reveals first area to adopt a neighbourhood plan
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Central Government, Development
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Eden in Cumbria has become the first area in the country to adopt a neighbourhood plan after it was approved by local vote, planning minister Nick Boles has revealed.
Neighbourhood planning is one of the new community rights which the government claims will give people more say over their area and will put communities in charge of setting out the homes, shops and amenities they want in their vicinity.
The people of the Upper Eden valley area were the first in the country to take to the polls and vote on a neighbourhood plan.
It was approved by 90 percent of voters and seeks to address several local challenges by allowing, amongst others, more affordable homes to be created by allowing more conversions and building on farms, and better broadband internet connections to be established.
Nick Boles said: “This is an historic day for localism. The people of Eden have started a quiet revolution which we want to see spreading right across the country. They have had a direct say in setting out their vision for how their area should develop and deciding how they want to meet local challenges."
Communities secretary Eric Pickles added: “This really is localism in action and a fantastic result for people in Upper Eden who have worked hard to make sure they are in the driving seat by deciding what’s best for their community.
“A momentous moment has now been reached and I would urge people to join the hundreds of other communities already looking to reap the many benefits from having a neighbourhood plan.”
Neighbourhood planning has been designed by the government to replace top down regional planning.
Chairman of the Upper Eden Neighbourhood Plan group Tom Woof said: “We’re very pleased with the vote. Our turnout target was the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) vote which here was higher than the national average at nearly 19 percent. We have beaten that by 15 percent. The result is fantastic; 1,310 yes votes means that we not only have the simple majority required but also a ringing endorsement.”