Following the efforts of the Mepal Community Led Plan (CLP) in February 2019, the Parish Council has continued to receive requests from Parishioners particularly in regards to how the Parish Council can better preserve the village character and limit inappropriate large housing developments, after the successful opposition to the Brick Lane development of 55 houses. The Parish Council therefore applied for grant funding and engaged a consultant to work with the community to use the published Community-Led Plan as a foundation for a Neighbourhood Plan. A number of articles have been published in the Mepal Matters newsletter over the last two years asking for input and involvement from the community, as well as items on the agenda of Parish Council meetings. The Neighbourhood Plan sits alongside the Local Plan and has weight in determining planning applications in the local area. It is a statutory document.
Neighbourhood Plans are a powerful tool to shape our local area, as Neighbourhood Plan policies take precedence over non-strategic Local Plan policies in decision-making. In other words, the Neighbourhood Plan “trumps” the Local Plan (on certain matters).
After initial feedback was gathered, a Questionnaire was issued in the September/October 2022 issue of the Mepal Matters Newsletter. The survey results were then reported in the November/December Mepal Matters Newsletter and the Consultant engaged produced a first draft plan based on the CLP and all feedback and information received. This was discussed in a separate Neighbourhood Plan group held before the Parish Council on 13th December 2022.
The Parish Council passed a resolution in the February Council meeting to put the draft plan out to consultation, along with the supporting documents. The consultation material will advise:
- What the Neighbourhood Plan is about
- Where the NP can be viewed (online and physical)
- How long the consultation period is and how to make comments
- Details of any ‘Drop-in Sessions’ or other events for consultation or to find out more
- What happens after your comments are received (comments made will become public although personal data will not be made available and the information given will only be used by Mepal Parish Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council for purposes connected with the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan including future consultation stages.
Draft Neighbourhood Plan & Supporting Documents