Castlethorpe - Positive about housing
Castlethorpe Parish is a rural parish just outside of Milton Keynes. It is seperated from the county of Northamptonshire by the River Tove. It has clear historic and environmental constraints, for example the Conservation Area and Scheduled Ancient Monument covering a large part of the village in the centre, and the wildlife corridor that runs along the railway.
The Neighbourhood Plan was being prepared at a time when there was no policy requirement from strategic policy to accomodate new development at Castlethorpe. At that same time, Milton Keynes Council were collecting evidence to review its strategic policies and a high proportion of the community identified a need for housing in the village - particularly smaller, low cost housing and housing available to meet the needs of those wishing to downsize from larger family properties.
We helped the Neighbourhood Planning group to secure development principles to accomodate the community's identified housing need in an allocation policy while balancing meeting that need with preserving and enhancing the local heritage. At the time, this meant that the parish would benefit from the added protection for neighbourhood plans set out in the 2016 Ministerial Statement to manage the risk of Milton Keynes Council failing to meet its housing supply requirements. Since then, the group has returned to us to guide them through the modification process to brings its policies in line with the latest policy context and evidence base.