Villagers are being urged to vote “YES” to approve the Ruddington Neighbourhood Plan in an important referendum being held this week.
Everyone living in the parish should now have received either a postal ballot or a notification to vote in person at one of our two village Polling Stations on Thursday, 22nd July. As you can see below, the poll gives you the opportunity to answer the simple question: “Do you want Rushcliffe Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Ruddington to help it decide planning applications in the Neighbourhood area?”
As reported frequently by RUDDINGTON.info over the years, it’s been a long and difficult journey for the dedicated group of hard working volunteers who’ve been pulling all this together since the Parish of Ruddington was designated as a ‘Neighbourhood Area’ in October 2017. Numerous meetings and public consultations have taken place in order to finally reach this stage.
The project has been made even more challenging by the approval of the Rushcliffe Local Plan Part 2 in the meantime. This has resulted in four major new housing estates totalling 578 homes being granted planning permission on Green Belt land in Ruddington – despite considerable and often bitter local opposition. Some of the former open countryside now being built upon might perhaps have been ‘spared’ if there had been a Ruddington Neighbourhood Plan in place sooner.
It’s a key reason we’re all being urged to put our cross in the “YES” box this Thursday to approve the Plan. You can find all the documentation relating to it on Rushcliffe Borough Council’s website. However, since everyone’s busy, and there’s lots to read, Paul Reedman of the Ruddington Neighbourhood Plan Team has kindly provided us with the following points for you to consider in making your decision as to whether to support this proposal:-
- The Ruddington Neighbourhood Plan (RNP) has been developed over the past three and a half years by a team of volunteers, under the umbrella of Ruddington Parish Council, with the assistance of consultants, Urban Imprint. Our community has been consulted at every stage of the process.
- RNP contains policies on the development and use of land in our village but it cannot be used to stop development.
- If the plan is approved at referendum, RNP becomes part of the development plan and carries real legal weight. Rushcliffe Borough Council must consider the plan in relation to all planning applications and appeals.
- With the RNP in place, 25% of the revenues from the Community Infrastructure Levy arising from local development will be paid directly to the Parish Council, to be used on projects that will benefit our community. This is significantly higher than it is at the moment.
- The Plan contains policies covering 8 areas. These are Village Centre, Housing, Connectivity, Heritage, Economy, Design and Sustainability, Environment and Community Infrastructure. There is also a 3-part Design Guide, The Ruddington Design Guide (RDG), which supports the Neighbourhood Plan and is a standalone design guidance document that will carry weight in local decision-making relating to new development proposals. The findings of the RDG will inform specific design policies of the RNP and provide further detail for those wanting to submit planning applications in the parish.
- All documents relating to the RNP and the referendum can be found at https://www.rushcliffe.gov.uk/elections/referendums/.
- Village centre policies can be found from page 25 of the RNP document. These include provision of pedestrian infrastructure and parking, as well as preventing the use of solid shutters and box lighting on shops.
- Housing policies begin on page 31 and cover the delivery of custom or self-build residential properties. There is also an aspiration that Ruddington Parish Council will work with local community organisations to bring forward a ‘community right to build order’ to deliver specific types of development identified by the community such as new homes, shops, businesses, community facilities or playgrounds, which comply with the order. The Parish Council will lead such projects and seek to work with the Borough Council to utilise the ‘community right to build order’ and incorporate it into the Neighbourhood Plan.
- Connectivity policies start at page 33. These include the creation of a network of safe and well-surfaced footpaths, a cycle network (covered by a cycle strategy), as well as the provision of adequate parking spaces and electric charging points at new developments.
- Heritage policies can be found from page 41. These policies place restrictions on new development in, or adjacent to, the Conservation Area. In addition, planning applications must take into account the impact of development on non-designated heritage assets in the village, seeking to protect and, where appropriate, enhance them. There is a policy designed to protect the views, vistas, landmarks and gateways in our village.
- Economy policies begin on page 45. These policies cover any proposed future development at Mere Way Business Park including traffic management, the provision of sufficient parking and of solar panels. A policy on home working is included.
- Design and sustainability policies start at page 48. Policies here detail the requirements of the Ruddington Design Guide, energy efficiency, landscaping and biodiversity.
- Environment policies commence on page 54. This section details how applications may be supported where they demonstrate that they have preserved or enhanced the network of green infrastructure within Ruddington as set out. There is an aspiration to develop a comprehensive strategy to protect and enhance the existing wildlife assets within the Parish.
- Community infrastructure policies start on page 58. Policies here support applications seeking to deliver the provision of new community facilities or re-purpose existing facilities. This includes care homes, open spaces, sport and recreation facilities, public houses, heritage and museum facilities, educational and religious facilities and health facilities. Local Green Spaces (LGS) have been identified due to their special character, significance, and community value. The sites will be protected from inappropriate development that will lead to the loss or degradation of these green spaces.
Paul adds: “Now that you have read the available information, we do hope that you will take this opportunity to ‘Vote Yes’ and to give Ruddington a significant voice in the decision-making process on future planning.”
Depending on your declared voting preferences, you will already have received a postal vote to send to RBC in advance, otherwise notification to vote in person this Thursday 22nd July 2021 from 7am to 10pm either St Peter’s Rooms (RUFL-1 to RUFL-1224 and RUMA-1 to RUMA- 1759) or the Ruddington Village Hall (RUCA-1 to RUCA-1503 and RUEA-3 to RUEA- 1360) dependent upon where in our village you live.
You can read MORE about the “Who? What? Why?” of Ruddington’s Neighbourhood Plan >>HERE<<.