SUPPORTING PARISH COUNCIL PROJECTS
The UK planning system has been reformed through the Localism Act (2011). The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (2012) requires each local authority (like Durham County Council) to produce a Local Plan. Each neighbourhood within a local authority is invited to set up a neighbourhood forum to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. It is possible for a neighbouring forum to be a combination of adjoining parishes.
Town or parish councils will normally be responsible for preparation. The government stipulates that Neighbourhood Plans should be designed to facilitate development. It should be in line with the strategic planning of the Local Plan—in our case, the County Durham Plan. We offer support to the Parish Council, which is considering how to proceed with this project. The project gives our community the opportunity to develop a vision for Lanchester and decide what kind of development should occur and where it should take place. It is important to note that in the NPPF there is a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
This project has been successfully completed following two years of work by a group led by the Parish Council and consisting of members of the public, the Partnership and the Parish Council.
The original banner was found by the Partnership in a poor state of repair. After necessary conservation it now hangs in the Parish Church.
A replica banner was created for use at public events and was paraded through the village at the very successful celebration event on 27th June 2014. Also on display that day were banners made and dances learnt in workshops organised in the village schools. A flyer telling the history of the banner and of mining in the area was produced, as well as a pack for each primary school child describing aspects of life in the 1960s.
The Parish Council has agreed to take responsibility for the replica banner and a Special General Meeting is to be held on 4th June 2015 in order to dissolve the group.”
The Partnership is on the working group formed by the Parish Council to produce a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish. This will be an important planning document that will help guide future development. It will set out the views of the community in terms of planning issues and will contain a number of planning policies specific to Lanchester Parish. Durham County Council will have to consult the Neighbourhood Plan when making planning decisions.
The Neighbourhood Plan for Lanchester Parish is expected to be completed by 2017 and during that time there will be plenty of opportunity to make comments or become involved. Previous documents prepared for the village such as the Village Design Statement, the Parish Plan and the Lanchester Locality Map will provide valuable information and justification for new policies.
The Parish Council is the lead partner and will ensure that everyone is kept in touch and is able to make their views known.