The neighbourhood plan project was officially launched on Saturday 22 April in the village hall. Posters were displayed (see below) that gave context to some issues and posed questions. About 85 people came and, after reading, listening, learning and arguing, some 360 comments were posted. Click here to read them – it’s a large document! These comments are the basis for the formal survey in August.
The launch of the Neighbourhood Plan For New Buckenham or, for short, np4nb
I now understand why the reigning monarch smashes champagne bottles over the hull of new ships as they glide effortlessly down the slipway. Frankly, if you are going to launch something that a load of people have spent months and months planning and building, then you deserve to have the Queen coming to bless the event. It’s the least she can do. Sadly she didn’t make it to our launch this Spring, but about one third of the population of New Buckenham did….and they made no fewer than 350 suggestions to get the village off to a fabulous start on the Neighbourhood Plan voyage!
It was 22nd of April 2017 when we threw open the doors of the village hall to explain what it’s all about. By that time the Steering Committee had been at it for a year. Talking, debating, leafleting, arguing (yes – let’s be honest), counting finances, submitting forms, drawing boundaries and holding unending liaison meetings with Breckland District Council, and assorted parish councils in the area.
To be clear, a Neighbourhood Plan is a legally enforceable document that alerts the Breckland to the residents’ vision for land use and community life in the locality for the next 20 years, that means up to 2036.
To be honest, New Buckenham has come late to the party. Since the concept was first invented back in 2011 nearly 2000 areas have been drawing up draft plans covering 8.6 million people. 270 such plans have been put in place by local planning authorities across England and on average around nine out of ten people have backed the proposals following the necessary referendum at the end of the process.
In New Buckenham on that Spring day, the village came up with some clever and innovative ideas – all of which have been noted and are on the website for you to read. Top of the list of things to worry about in New Buckenham was mobile phone and broadband communications. The aspect of the village people liked the most was its heritage and appearance. They also loved the community spirit and the walking and cycling opportunities. There is anxiety over new building, traffic flow, parking and street lighting.
NP4NB will address all of these issues and more. You must tell us what you think at every opportunity. Don’t be shy. Nothing is too bizarre for us all to consider. Nor does it matter what age you are – the youngest of children to the oldest young-of-heart residents- all must have their say. Or you could, of course, simply provide art work, as some of our esteemed smaller personnel did back on that memorable day in April.
Janet Trewin (member of the NP4NB Working party)