Developing A neighbourhood plan for kdbh

In a Nutshell

A Neighbourhood Plan (NP) is enshrined in planning law - which means it carries legal force.  Local Authorities (in our case Solihull Council) must incorporate a community's NP into their own processes and decision making relating to planning permission. Hence why so many Parish Plans are now being replaced by Neighbourhood Plans.

In KDBH, we don't have a Parish Council.  So instead we had to create a Neighbourhood Forum (NF) to lead development of a Plan for our villages.   A NF is a statutory body - which means that it, too, is recognised in law.

So it's not surprising, then, that creation of both a NF and a NP is a rigorous process, not undertaken lightly.  It took over 6 months for us to get the KDBH Forum approved.   A NP can typically take 2-3 years to complete - much of this time being due to the need to consult widely every step of the way.  

Click on these links for more information:  What's a NP?    What's a NF?

This Section

is designed to help you understand the key steps in the process of creating a Plan and provides links to some important sources of information.  These show what we've achieved to date and how we're using what you've told us, and what we've learnt, to build our KDBH Plan on a clear and demonstrable 'evidence.base'.  This ability to provide evidence backing up our policies is vital to ultimate approval of the finalised Plan. 

In summary, the hard work of so many Members over the past 18 months means that we're ready to start drafting policies for discussion.  Remember, though, that only Forum members (ie.those who have confirmed that they live or work in KDBH)  can determine what goes into the NP.  Don't miss out - it's quick, easy and free to join up. Here

 
Step 1:  find out what the community thinks and wants

Every one of the many meetings, events or gatherings that we hold or attend is an opportunity for us to seek out views on a wide range of topics and issues.  And the KDBH community is certainly not shy at coming forward!

 

Below are links to three of our most important information sources that are central to our Plan development. 

 residents survey

Undertaken May/Jun 2016, leaflets were hand delivered to every household.

Nearly 3,000 responses (and >500 pages of comments!), gives us a fabulous data base to work from.  The results are central to our Plan development.

Undertaken in Nov/Dec 2016, every one of the 332 businesses in KDBH received a hand-delivered copy.

The 65 responses make clear what's important to local businesses for thriving high streets and good employment.  

 business survey

A special event held in Feb 2016. Although too young to actually vote on the Plan (you must be 18+), we wanted schoolchildren of all ages to have a voice. 

There were some interesting and thought-provoking outcomes... 

 Youth forum
 
 
step 2.   understand the issues and test out draft policies

In addition to seeking opinions through surveys, much time has been spent researching KDBH using various data sources - for example census data; the Solihull Observatory; and input from different technical specialists either at Solihull Council or through independent bodies.  This mix of subjective views (opinions) and objective data provides a sound base for formulating policies that meet planning requirements.

 
 
KDBH Neighbourhood plan Main Themes
housing

We live in one of the most beautiful and sought-after parts of the Borough.  How do we balance demand for new homes with protecting what we most value - 'village feel', 'openness' and 'greenness'; or the needs of a largely older population with those of families?    

Transport and infrastructure

Issues with car parking tops every survey and feedback we've ever asked. That said, traffic flow and congestion at peak times, and a desire to improve cycle paths and public transport, also feature strongly. How will Solihull Councils's proposals for 1050+ houses in Knowle affect things?

leisure, learning community facilities

Health and education facilities, and easy access to countryside, are uppermost amongst what people of KDBH most care about.  What are the opportunities and threats from proposed new developments on key services, social wellbeing and facilities essential to supporting a rich community life?   

Knowle, Dorridge and Bentley Heath Neighbourhood Plan Limited

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