Fairfield Neighbourhood Plan – The Referendum

Neighbourhood Plan

The final stage of the Fairfield Neighbourhood Plan has been reached! The date for the referendum has been set for Thursday, September 14, 2017 and CBC have been distributing the polling cards.

Then the decision will be yours! It is almost three years since the majority of you completed the joint Neighbourhood and Parish Plan questionnaire. From that the Parish Plan was prepared and published in 2015.

However, the Neighbourhood Plan is a legal document and comes from Government Localism legislation passed in 2011. This gives Town and Parish Councils a legal opportunity to say how they want their town or village to progress and also to retain it’s look and feel. It also gives the opportunity to preserve valued greenspace from development.

As such it has to go through more processes than a Parish Plan, which is an aspiration rather than a legal document. The first hurdle was publication of the draft plan, the second stage a public consultation conducted on our behalf by Central Bedfordshire Council. The next stage was a complete examination of the plan by a Government Planning Inspector. The final stage – and the one we have reached – is for the referendum which calls for a simple accept or decline answer to one question.

Once the plan reached stage 2 (public consultation), FPC no longer had a say in it, apart from carrying out amendments when asked by CBC or the Inspector. At the end of the day these were very few and minor.

The Plan is a in three parts, plus two supporting documents. The Neighbourhood Plan itself sets out the policies and rationale, the Design Statement reflects the view that the ideals outlined in the Master Plan should be continued and re-iterates these. The Green Infrastructure Plan looks at the green open spaces on Fairfield and how these should be preserved.

Applications for a postal vote must be made by August 30 and newcomers to Fairfield still have time to register to vote.

The revised document can be downloaded here in Pdf format that can be read on computers or in iBooks or on a kindle on tablets.

The government examiner’s report can be downloaded from this link.

Facebook readers can download the Design Statement, the Green Infrastructure document and the two supporting documents from the FPC website.