What is the Shenley Neighbourhood Plan?
In 2016 Shenley Parish Council decided to apply to Hertsmere Borough Council to create a Neighbourhood Plan. This concept, introduced by the 2011 Localism Act, allows communities such as Shenley to shape planning and development in their areas. Once completed and confirmed by public vote, our Plan will become a statutory planning document which, alongside Hertsmere Borough Council Local Plan and the National Planning Framework, will affect planning decisions in Shenley until at least 2027.
Shenley Neighbourhood Plan is a Community initiative which, although sponsored by Shenley Parish Council and with funding made available by government, involves members of the Shenley Community. There are 13 Steering Group members, made up of 5 Parish Councillors and 7 community members, managing the development of the plan. They are supported by over 60 additional community members across 4 working parties: Housing & Development, Green Belt & Heritage, Roads & Transport, and Amenities & Local Services (which were themes highlighted in the response to the first resident’s questionnaire in October 2016).
What will the Plan do?
The decision to create Shenley Neighbourhood Plan was initially driven by previous experience of the Porters Park development in the early 1990s, in which the promised infrastructure to support the 200% increase in population was not delivered by the site developers. Hertsmere Borough Council have also identified a need for around 9,000 new homes across the borough over the next 15 to 20 years, which has convinced us to begin work as soon as possible.
We know from previous questionnaire feedback that the majority of Shenley residents wish there to be as little further development as possible, and highly value Shenley’s unique character and beautiful rural surroundings. With a Neighbourhood Plan, we will have a real say as to where any new development is located within the parish and the look, style and type of the new homes. It can also help Shenley retain its green nature that is so beloved and admired by residents and visitors.
Other issues that residents highlight during the process that are not strictly related to planning will also be included in the Plan as ‘Community Priority Projects’. These will be used to influence other public sector bodies that invest in our area, and guide capital expenditure and priorities in the parish. Once adopted, the Shenley Neighbourhood Plan will, in particular, ensure that 25% of any Community Infrastructure Levy (a development tax paid on new development) will have to be allocated to projects in Shenley.
What we’ve been doing so far
Since officially launching the Shenley Neighbourhood Plan on 5th April this year, a great deal of work has been done by the Steering Group and 4 Working Parties to gather information. Community support has been tremendous and many of you have been involved in the following:
- October 2016: Initial questionnaire sent to all residents – over 228 responses
- 5th April 2017: Neighbourhood Plan Launch Meeting at Shenley Primary School – Request for volunteers to join four Working Parties and extra Steering Group members – 120 people attended
- 18th June 2017: Neighbourhood Plan Stall at Shenley Fete – 3 Surveys and a roving survey – good turnout and support
The Steering Group and all Working Parties have had numerous meetings to date, and from the information gathered so far we are starting to draft parts of the Plan and supporting documentation. This process is likely to continue until December. We have to make sure that nothing is missed. We also have to wait for some important reports to be prepared for us. We hope this will be completed during the next 15 weeks but it may take a little longer.
To get the rest of the evidence we need for the Plan the following is also scheduled:
- September 2017: Second Questionnaire – Housing & Development focus will be sent to all Residents. Residents can also complete the survey on line.
- September/October 2017: A Final Questionnaire plus Street Surveys will be carried out.
With your help we want to build a Neighbourhood Plan for everyone in the community, and to ensure Shenley develops in a way we can all be proud of. So please get involved and help us to plan Shenley’s future together.
Best wishes from all the Steering Group
Chair – Shenley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group