Bowers Gifford Alternative Spatial Strategy
The Parish Council embarked on its neighbourhood plan in 2016 with the primary objective of demonstrating that the local community not only had sound reasons for objecting to the emerging Local Plan proposals but that there was a better alternative. The village is part inset from and part washed over by the Green Belt with the proposals looking to release land inside and adjoining the Parish for 2,000 homes with the effect of essentially merging the village with its much larger town neighbour.
We were appointed to help masterplan an alternative spatial strategy that could accommodate approx. 1,300 homes around the village inside the plan area. We worked with the local community and land interests to devise the strategy which succeeded in persuading the planning authority to abandon its proposals prior to submitting the Local Plan for examination. We made the representations and negotiated them with the planning authority on behalf of the Parish Council.
We are continuing to work on the project for the Parish Council, now in a partnership with the planning authority, to ensure the Local Plan proposals to delegate decision making on site allocations and Green Belt boundary modifications to the neighbourhood plan are considered sound by the Inspector later this year. We are also drafting a neighbourhood development order and design code for the village to encourage plot development schemes to adhere to the strong and distinctive local character.