On May 6th 2021 the residents of Utkinton and Cotebrook Parish will be heading to the polls and will have the opportunity to vote in a Referendum related to the finally submitted Neighbourhood Plan (following an independent examination). We should know the results by the week after that and CWaC have a period of up to eight (8) weeks after to pronounce the Neighbourhood Plan as ‘Made’ after which it becomes part of local planning regulations – much as the CWaC Local Plan (2).
By the time you look at this page the leaflet and postcard about the Utkinton and Cotebrook Neighbourhood Plan should have dropped onto your doormat. This is the beginning of a new phase in the evolution of our Parish and begins by us telling you a little bit about the process and asking whether you would be willing to get involved.
First off though let us try and dispel some ‘urban myths’ about NDP (as they have become known);
- Neighbourhood Development Plans will not stop developers looking at building, but they can influence what and how much they build
- NDPs are a document that planners have to take note of and listen to the views of the residents
- They are not about just the big developments but provide a template through which you, the residents, can make your views heard – in effect the NDP is a legal document – unlike our Parish Plan (published in 2013) which is advisory and indicated the things that were (are) important to you
- NDPs are NOT just about development, they focus on protecting what is there too and helping the Parish to think what it needs to become sustainable in the the long run.
How Can You Get Involved?
The first step is for you to complete the Reply Paid Postcard that was included in the envelope or complete the form below and tell the NDP team [its is small as yet comprising its Chair, Ian Priestner (a Parish Councillor), the leader of the Steering Group; Tony Dahill (a past Parish Councillor) and Frank Tunney; current Chair of the Parish Council but here acting as a member of the group] whether you would be prepared to become a member of the Steering Group.
PLEASE USE THE REPLY PAID POSTCARD OR THE FORM BELOW BY NO LATER THAN 30TH APRIL
Next; there is an intention to hold a couple of Public Meetings where we will try and outline some more detail about the plan, what it is and what it will look like, to introduce the steering group and to formulate a questionnaire / survey about what is important to ALL residents across the Parish. You can tell us which public meeting you would like to attend on the Reply Paid Postcard or simply return the form on the page about public meetings.
When the Questionnaire/Survey lands on your mat we would be happy to provide extra copies so that you and your family can have your own ‘voices’ – it is important that we hear from all strata of our community from teen to elderly – as their views will differ and we want to reflect the different elements that are your wishes.
Once the surveys are ‘in’ we will analyse them and produce a draft ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ and then you can get involved again. The Draft Plan will be scrutinised by you, your families as well as Cheshire West and Chester before its submission to Government and then you will get a chance to vote on whether to accept it (which we hope you will) in a local referendum. It only takes a simple majority for it to be accepted and if it is then it will become a ‘Made’ plan and set in stone, so to speak.
As we say on the cover of the leaflet;