As you will know from previous Blogs, there have been several meetings to discuss the preparation of a new Village Plan for Badby. The latest step was a meeting in The Windmill in early September of those who had expressed interest in being involved in the preparation of a plan. The meeting, while supportive in principle, raised several concerns about the purposes and practicalities of producing a plan.
The Start-up Group that convened the meeting strongly believes that the creation of a plan will be in the best interests of Badby, both as a means to protect and preserve the core character and features of the village and also to guide the inevitable changes in the future to meet the interests of all residents – young and old, long-established and newcomers. Badby has continually experienced change in the past and change will continue, whatever we may wish. A new plan would provide a view, representative of as many residents as possible, of what Badby is and wishes to be – the things people like and want preserved, things that would improve people’s situation or that have changed for the worse, the priorities for the young and old, people’s concerns and wishes for their children and families, and the actions needed to see the continuation of Badby for future generations.
Its purpose would not just be a planning document, but a broad statement covering the village and its life, its residents’ wishes and needs, and priorities and issues that the parish wishes to see addressed.
A plan would particularly provide a basis for expressing views on local developments and consultations. It would add force and coherence to arguments for and against planning applications. That said, a parish plan cannot provide total defence against decisions and developments. However, a parish plan would provide the Parish Council with a template against which to judge applications, and can be used in its responses to Daventry DC to demonstrate the rationale and village-wide basis on which its recommendations are made. You may have seen an article in a recent Gusher about Weedon Bec and Braunston’s moves to develop Neighbourhood Plans and their reasons for doing so.
These issues and arguments need to be explored more fully and discussed by the village as a whole. The Start-up Group has asked a number of individuals with particular interest and skills to form a group to put together a clearer statement of what a plan would be. This would build on the work and investigations of the Start-up Group, and would include the issues a plan would cover, how it might be prepared and what it would achieve – essentially a vision statement for a village plan. At the same time, the group would interact with all residents to spread a fuller understanding of what is proposed and why it is important, and to gain a consensus for the work.