Tony Greaves, who represents Waterside Ward on Pendle Council, is questioning the priorities of Colne Town Council for its proposed Neighbourhood Plan.
The Colne Town Council – together with Laneshaw Bridge and Trawden Forest Parish Councils - have submitted a formal notification to Pendle Council of their intention to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. Neighbourhood
Plans are a new idea in the planning system where residents can have a say in proposed developments, brought in by the Localism Act in the previous coalition government. The first stage is to define a neighbourhood area and this is what the current consultation (which ends on 6th May) is about.
Neighbourhood Plan for Colne, Laneshaw Bridge and Trawden
Tony Greaves says: “The three parish councils are entitled to develop Neighbourhood Plans and I encourage them to do so – and it is their decision where the area should be. I am sure that both the rural parishes involved (Laneshaw Bridge and Trawden) can benefit from a Neighbourhood Plan for their parish. There are already up to 150 Neighbourhood Plans which have been adopted in a local referendum and around 1600 are under way at some stage or other.
“As a member of the House of Lords I was closely involved in the original legislation in the Localism Act, and I have recently supported proposals to improve the system in the Housing and Planning Bill that is at present in the Lords. I am a real enthusiast for neighbourhood planning.
Colne Neighbourhood Plan neglects key areas
“My concern lies with the priorities of Colne Town Council in deciding to set up (and lead on) a Neighbourhood Plan which only includes a relatively small part of Colne – the area round where the Town Council Chairman lives – rather than the rest of the town. There is no way that this area can even be described as “Colne East” – it’s a bit of east Colne. I fear it is a mistaken attempt by the Conservatives to once again “look after their own” and likely to backfire.
“I am particularly concerned that the proposed Neighbourhood Plan does not include the town centre, nor any of the Waterside/South Valley area – the most deprived part of the town - and other areas where there is brownfield
land that can be developed.
What areas should be included in Colne Neighbourhood Plan?
“In my view the Neighbourhood Plan should either include the whole town of Colne, or it should be about the South Valley and surrounding areas, where it could build on all the work done for the South Valley Masterplan ten years
ago. That resulted in a massive 124 page report of good ideas, all dropped when the national government scrapped the housing market renewal scheme. Surely much of this will still be relevant and could now form the basis of a really useful Neighbourhood Plan.
“If the proponents of this plan think that it is a way to stop development on The Rough/Windermere Avenue land they are likely to be deceiving themselves. (That will be decided by planning applications long before the new plan is adopted). They should realise that the purpose of Neighbourhood Plans – which have to be in general conformity with the policies in the overall Local Development Plan – is to decide on the location and types of development, not the amount.”
Tony Greaves’ concerns:
- Residents around the Lidgett area are perhaps being duped into
thinking that this Neighbourhood Plan is the way to stop development on
the Windermere Avenue/Rough land. I don’t think it is.
- There may be real dangers in Trawden and Laneshaw Bridge that there
will be attempts to move new housing into those villages and away from the
edge of Colne.
- It is missing a real opportunity to do neighbourhood planning where it
could be really useful, to boost the town centre and regenerate other parts
of the town that need it.
- The effort being put into the Plan by Colne Town Council is a misuse of
resources when they should be representing the whole of Colne, not one
Get in touch
If you live in the Colne, Laneshaw Bridge or Trawden and have any concerns or questions regading the neighbourhood plan, or would like to get involved yourself, then please get in touch today using the contact page on this website.