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Referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan

We now have a firm date for the referendum for the Buntingford and Community Area Neighbourhood Plan – 23rd March.

I would urge you all to make sure that you appraise yourselves of the plan and vote on the 23rd. This is the culmination of nearly 4 years' work by a dedicated team of volunteers from Buntingford and the surrounding villages and I think that we owe it to them to at least cast a vote. I shall certainly be voting YES to accept the plan and I would like to think that the vast majority of you will follow this example. Voting will be at the Manor House in Buntingford and at locations in the villages of Cottered, Hormead, Wyddial, Aspenden and Buckland and Chipping. All households will receive voting forms in the near future.

One of the remits of the Neighbourhood Plan is to ensure that the built environment is fit for purpose, i.e. that house builders plan environments that are not overcrowded, have sufficient green spaces, sufficient parking and house designs that are not at odds with the local area. It is interesting that a recent House of Lords Select Committee paper called 'Building Better Places' makes the following comment:

“The built environment affects us all. The planning, design, management and maintenance of the built environment has a long-term impact upon people and communities. It is widely acknowledged that the quality of life, prosperity, health and wellbeing of an individual is heavily influenced by the 'place' in which they live or work.”

A comment that very much mirrors the objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan and one that has been 'discussed' many times with house builders in our locale. The following, however, shows where it can all go wrong – East Herts District Council please take note:

“However, we are concerned that the overall emphasis on speed and quantity of housing supply appears to threaten place-making itself, along with sustainable planning for the long-term and the delivery of high quality and design standards.”

So the House of Lords concurs with what many of us have been saying – let us hope that it is not too late for us to make a difference in our area. A 'yes' vote at the upcoming referendum will certainly help to give us some degree of control.

Graham Bonner, Chairman, Buntingford Civic Society

If you have any queries about Buntingford Civic Society or issues you would like to raise, you can email the Chairman direct at chairman@buntingfordcivic.org.uk.

BCS AGM on 25th April - click here for more information.


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