Stamford Plan final consultation – Please share your views

Following a recent inspection by South Kesteven District Council, the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan will be subject to a final round of public consultation starting next Monday, March 8th and lasting for a period of 6 weeks.

This consultation will give everyone the opportunity to have a final say on the plan which has been four years in development.

During September 2020 the plan was subject to inspection by officers at SKDC to determine that it was compliant with existing planning law and that the correct processes had been adhered to during it’s creation.

A “screening” report was then issued by SKDC in February recommending the NP is issued for consultation.

David Taylor, chairman of the Stamford First, which, acting under the auspices of Stamford Town Council, said “This plan has taken four years to prepare, which may seem a long time. But the planning process is a lengthy one (Neighbourhood Plans, on average take up to five years to write and be adopted) and Covid-19 has played its part in causing some delay. However, we are now close to the finishing line and once the public has had its further say on the plan it will go forward for scrutiny by the Planning Inspector before a legally binding referendum is held amongst Stamford residents”.

The referendum will be held in the same way as any election with all residents able to vote yes or no to the plan’s adoption. If successful, the plan is then “adopted” and becomes enshrined in planning law. Thereafter, all planning applications in Stamford will have to be compliant with the policies in the plan.

Mr Taylor said “This plan set-out to protect Stamford, to safeguard what we have now and preserve what makes it such a special place, and to help shape future development so that Stamford doesn’t lose its unique identity. We believe this plan does that and, whilst not yet adopted, the draft plan has already been successfully used to prevent the development of Cherryholt Meadows.

But the plan isn’t just about stopping development, it is also there to support developments which conform to its policies and which will help create a sustainable future for the town. Such is the case of St.Martin’s Park which brings employment, local amenities, a residential home, affordable houses  and includes the creation of green spaces. The new development also supports active travel, and will follow a strict design code which protects this important gateway approach into the town.

Stamford residents have shaped this plan which is based on their views and I do hope as many residents will have a further say though this final consultation”.

Links to the plan and supporting documents and details of how to take part in the consultation process can be found on the South Kesteven website. http://www.southkesteven.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=15295

Further information about the plan and how it was created can be found on the Stamford First website with links on social media to – Twitter @stamfordfirst. Facebook – www.facebook.com/StamfordFirst

Stamford Plan approved by SKDC for final consultation

Following a Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) and a Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) by South Kesteven District Council (a process termed ‘Regulation 15’) the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan has now been approved to go forward to Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning Process.

Regulation 16 approval will see the plan going to a third and final stage of public consultation in which all stakeholders, statutory bodies and most importantly Stamford residents will be able to participate.

Stamford Neighbourhood Plan – Submission Version – November 2020

This round of consultation will be managed by SKDC through an online process which will be well publicised by them through the press and social media channels and will last for a minimum of 6 weeks. We will promote the link to the consultation page when it is available.

All responses to this consultation will then be forwarded to the Planning Inspector for the final “test” of the plan. This stage is known as regulation 17.

Provided that the planning inspectors findings are favourable the Neighbourhood Plan will go to a referendum in May (as things stand currently) before it is enshrined as planning law. As a statutory planning document, any planning applications made in Stamford will have to comply with the plans policies enabling Stamford’s residents to have a greater say in planning matters.

A copy of the Submission Version – Stamford Neighbourhood Plan November 2020 – can be found here.

Stamford Neighbourhood Plan adopted by town council to help residents fight unwanted developments

Members of Stamford Town Council voted to approve a plan that will give residents more control over what gets built and where.

But it wasn’t an easy ride for the main author, Coun David Taylor (Con), who accused some councillors of trying to delay the process at a meeting on Tuesday (July 29).

The Stamford Neighbourhood Plan is based on people’s views on how they would like to see the town developed – and preserved – over the next 20 years.

Coun David Taylor with the draft Stamford Neighbourhood Plan
Coun David Taylor with the draft Stamford Neighbourhood Plan

It ties in with South Kesteven District Council’s Local Plan, and forms a legal document that could pack a punch in any fight against unwanted developments.

Presenting the final draft to the council, Coun Taylor said he had “worked his socks off” after being spurred into action during a battle against plans for 48 homes off Kettering Road.

“This isn’t my plan, it’s the council’s plan on behalf of Stamford’s residents,” he said. “It is based on what they’ve told us they would like to see.”

The process involved a questionnaire being sent to 7,000 homes, of which 2,000 were returned, a survey of businesses and a range of public engagement events.

It cost around £25,000 to pull together, of which £18,000 came from the Government.

Coun Taylor said that crucially it identified 31 important green spaces that should be protected from development.

These include the ‘east meadows’ – a source of concern for some campaigners in the town – and the green space on Haddon Road, which has recently been bought and fenced in by a family. SKDC is currently taking legal action to resolve the matter.

The plan also identifies nine ‘views’ of the town, which must be preserved at all costs.

Aerial view of Stamford
Aerial view of Stamford

Some councillors were quick to back it, including Coun John Dawson (Con) who said: “This will do far more to protect Stamford than anything we’ve ever done.”

Coun Julie Clarke (Ind) said: “This is no way to vote on such an important document.”

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Stamford Plan submitted to SKDC

Following a second round of public consultation in October last year, the final draft of the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan will be submitted to South Kesteven District Council on July 1 for scrutiny by the planning inspector.

This marks the final phase of the process to develop the plan on which work started back in 2016.

During this stage, the plan will be subject to a final round of public consultation, managed by the district council, which will give all residents the opportunity once more to feedback on the plan.

Councillor David Taylor

David Taylor, chairman of Stamford First, which has coordinated the development of the plan, said: “In drafting our submission document we have been able, based upon comments back from the public and statutory consultees, to strengthen the plan with new policies emerging to give greater protection to green space within the town, most particularly along the River Welland corridor including Cherryholt Meadows and Stamford East Meadows and to protect noted views across the town which we wish to safeguard.

“We have also taken measures to promote sustainable building construction methods for new developments aimed in the long-term at reducing the impacts on climate change.

“We have also added a number of ‘community aspiration projects’ such as the creation of the Stamford Green Wheel and a possible park and ride scheme or shuttle bus to create better connectivity within the town and a reduction on car reliance, and the designation of a wildlife and nature reserve near to Hudds Mill.”

Following the inspection phase, the plan will then go to a referendum in which all Stamford residents will have a chance to vote for the plan.

“Unfortunately, because of Covid-19, the referendum has been delayed until May 2021, which is big disappointment,” said Coun Taylor.

“However, once the referendum has taken place and the plan ‘adopted’, it will become statutory planning law with which all new development within Stamford must comply.

“The delay will not prevent us from progressing with a number of community projects proposed by the plan, which we hope to start working on during the summer”

To read more about Stamford Neighbourhood Plan, click here.

Neighbourhood Plan will protect Stamford

A LETTER FROM OUR CHAIRMAN PUBLISHED IN THE STAMFORD MERCURY 23RD AUGUST 2019

“Stamford is a very special place. It has a unique character, amazing architecture, and a multitude of heritage assets with over 600 listed buildings which are protected by the town’s conservation status.

The Meadows offers incomparable views across Stamford with its five mediaeval churches and the town also benefits from a multitude of other, precious, open green spaces.

Stamford remains a vibrant rural market town and visitor attraction, with a wide selection of pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, an arts centre and theatre, and a plethora of flourishing independent retailers which are a further attraction for visitors who prefer personal service over online convenience.

Those of us fortunate enough to live in this town are privileged to do so. But that privilege brings with it responsibility, that of being the town’s guardians for future generations.

That is why, some three years ago, I championed the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Stamford. This week a draft of that plan has been issued for public consultation and I urge all who care about our town’s future to give their feedback on the plan through this process.

The plan sets out a vision for the Stamford of the future, one that reflects the thoughts and feelings of the many local people who participated in our various surveys and engagement events.

Whatever our views may be, growth in Stamford is an inevitability; government targets dictate it, and over the next 20-30 years, up to 2000 houses could be built here. The Stamford Neighbourhood Plan cannot resist that growth, but through the policies set out in it, we can influence where the town will grow, what development should look like, and what infrastructure and services are needed to support growth.

The plan will protect our precious green spaces against development and will ensure that developers create more green spaces. It also calls for better connectivity both within the existing town, and to its new developments, enabling more journeys to be made on foot or by cycle thus reducing reliance on the car.

Policies set-out in the plan will encourage and support business growth through the development of employment space and offices which the towns business community are shouting out for. This in turn will also serve to attract new businesses to the town and create new jobs for Stamford people.

I cannot claim that the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan is a panacea – it will not immediately address all of Stamford’s ills. Our historic town centre constrains opportunities to develop new roads within it and incorporating additional parking is difficult. We cannot, through this plan, deliver a new bypass, much though we might all want to see one, and we cannot influence the delivery of additional rail services.

However, this plan is our opportunity to shape the Stamford of the future so that the town develops in such a way that we protect what we have now and ensure that any growth creates a sustainable future for our community.

The Stamford Neighbourhood Plan is your plan, based on your views and those of your community – I commend it to you and urge you to give your feedback on it through the consultation process. “

David Taylor

Chairman

Stamford FIRST (The Stamford Neighbourhood Planning Forum)

People can have their say on Stamford Neighbourhood Plan

People in Stamford are being asked for their views on a document to shape the future of the town.

The Stamford Neighbourhood Plan – if accepted by residents – will influence what housing developers and other construction companies are allowed to do.

It has been three years in the making and is now in a ‘final draft’ form. Today, copies are being made available for people to look at and comment on, and consultation events will take place next month.

Chairman of Stamford First David Taylor with the draft Stamford Neighbourhood Plan
Chairman of Stamford First David Taylor with the draft Stamford Neighbourhood Plan

David Taylor, chairman of Stamford First, the Stamford Neighbourhood Planning Forum, began working on the 78-page plan when new homes were proposed off Kettering Road in Stamford.

He felt that people didn’t have a strong enough voice over the development’s design.

As well as providing a ‘guide’ for future building, David believes the plan could have two key positive effects.

“One is that it supports business growth and employment by identifying spaces suitable for this sort of development,” he said.

“The other is that it will protect 31 areas of green space that we identified. If people live near a green space and don’t want it to be developed, then they should find the reference for it in the draft plan and tell us how they use it – it might be for children playing, or dog-walking. This will help to protect it.”

David, who is also a town councillor, points out that the neighbourhood plan can’t stop further development in Stamford, as some people would like, but that it could help to direct the position, scale and design.

The draft plan cost £25,000 to research and produce and was funded by an £18,000 Government grant and £7,000 from the town council.

Consultation events are on September 14 at Stamford Arts Centre, September 20 at New College in Drift Road, October 2 at Malcolm Sargent Primary School in Empingham Road, and October 8 at Stamford Town Hall.

The draft plan is at www.stamfordfirst.org.uk and printed copies will be available in the town hall.

Comments can be emailed to stamfordfirstuk@gmail.com or addressed to the town clerk at Stamford Town Hall, PE9 2DR. They should arrive by October 18.

After consultation and redrafting of the plan, there will be a town referendum vote to see if residents adopt it.

See article from – Stamford Mercury – August 23rd 2019

Your chance to have a say! Draft Plan goes to consultation

Starting on Friday 23rd August a draft of the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan will go out for public consultation.

This gives all Stamford residents the chance to make comments on the plan.

Everyone is encouraged to have their say by feeding back comments, either by by letter or by email which should be sent to stamfordfirstuk@gmail.com If you wish to respond by letter, these should be posted to the following address

The Town Clerk
Stamford Town Council
Town Hall
St Mary’s Hill
Stamford
PE9 2DR

You can view or download a PDF of the draft plan here or obtain a bound copy from the Town Hall.

The consultation will run for a period of 8 weeks from August 23rd to October 18th 2019.

During the consultation period we will be holding a minimum of three consultation events at which you will be able to find out more about the plan draft and discuss it with members of the Stamford FIRST team.

Venues and dates for these events can be found here.

All comments provided through the consultation period will then be analysed and the document redrafted to take them into account before a final version goes to an independent planning inspector for approval.

Following that the final plan will be the subject of a referendum in which all Stamford residents will be given the opportunity to support the plan or otherwise. It is hoped that the referendum (a legally binding one) will take place in January or February 2020.

If adopted the plan then becomes a statutory planning document with which all future planning applications within Stamford will have to comply.

Stamford plan seeks to protect green space

 

Plans to protect parcels of green land in Stamford are among suggestions in the latest draft of the town’s neighbourhood plan.

The final draft of the neighbourhood plan is set to go out to its last round of public consultation and among the new proposals are plans to protect green spaces in the town by designating them as “local green spaces”.

This means they could only be developed in very special circumstances and would hopefully put paid to instances of housing developers trying to auction them off with the risk of potential further development, as happened with Jelson Homes in Stamford.

New developments in Stamford would also be required to have open green space, under the proposals put forward by the neighbourhood plan.

Another suggestion within the plan, which has been nearly two years in the making, is the creation of a “green wheel” around the town to link areas of green space. It is called a green wheel because it circles part of the town, with spokes leading from the outside routes into the town centre and will mean the town is more sustainable for pedestrians and cyclists.

The plan states: “Connectivity and movement through the town is important for it to be a sustainable and adaptable place”.

Stamford First is behind the plan and chairman of the group David Taylor, a town and district councillor, said green spaces were a “big issue” for Stamford.

He said he hoped the proposals outlined in the plan would be backed again during the next round of consultation, which is due to be before the end of the year.

Following that, it is hoped the completed plan will go forward to the Planning Inspector in the Spring with a referendum in the Summer.

If adopted by residents, the plan will help shape the development of Stamford over the next 20 years and will mean that any planning applications will have to comply with the policies set out in the neighbourhood plan.

Policies which are included within the plan aim to ensure –

– That development takes place in the locations preferred by Stamford residents, identified by Stamford First’s surveys

– That new developments are the subject of design codes which will mean new housing will have to be designed to be in keeping with its surroundings.

– That development is supported by appropriate infrastructure and services including appropriate provision for schools, healthcare and local amenities. (The plan supports a new primary school and leisure centre)

– Support for planning applications which provide appropriate employment space for existing Stamford businesses and which will be attractive to those outside the town wishing to relocate here

– That proposals for enhancing or enlarging existing car parks or creating new ones are supported

– The protection of existing green spaces within the town and the creation of new public open space within any new developments

– The creation of a “green wheel” around the town which will link areas of green space allowing connectivity between communities by foot or by bike

The plan sets out strongly that the “historic character and identity of Stamford is maintained and enhanced”.

It calls for the town to be developed “sustainably” while retaining “its unique, special and distinctive local character”.

Coun Taylor added: “What, above all things residents have asked is that the neighbourhood plan should protect Stamford – its heritage assets, green spaces and its special character – and that is exactly what this plan will enable us to do.”

Coun Taylor was keen to ensure residents know the limitations of the plan.

He added: “This plan is not a panacea and it has limitations – it cannot for instance, determine the number of new houses which should be built. The extent of development is set by the government which in turn issue local authority targets with which (in our case SKDC) are duty bound to comply.

In a similar way the plan is unable to influence local and strategic highway and roads, drainage or other utility infrastructure and it cannot conflict with the strategic policies in the SKDC Local Plan.”

Two further pieces of work are required before the draft plan goes to consultation –

The first of those is a full survey of all open public space in the town in order to develop policies to protect it. The aim of these policies will be to safeguard areas of green space from development and will include land on Rutland Heights and on the Scottish estate.

The second study will be an Urban Character Assessment, which will identify the existing design characteristics of the different areas of the
town.

Further information about the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan can be found on the Stamford First website

Read more in the Stamford Mercury

 

 

Stamford Plan is on the way

Following the recent consultation by South Kesteven District Council on its Local Plan, Stamford First, the group behind the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan for Stamford, says plans are progressing well.

Stamford First hopes to undertake its own consultation with residents early in the new year.

Speaking about the Neighbourhood Plan, chairman of Stamford First David Taylor, told the Mercury said: “Historically, Stamford’s future development has been guided solely by SKDC’s Local Plan with Stamford’s residents having little or no influence. That’s why we made the decision to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for the town.

“SKDC’s Local Plan shapes planning policies “district-wide”, but the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan will focus solely on our town and will comprise policies which give local residents greater control over development here.”

The essence of Neighbourhood Planning is that plans are shaped by local communities, based upon their views and aspirations. Since launching in early 2016, Stamford First has focused on consultation, through public forums, in meetings with residents’ groups and local organisations such as the Civic Society, and also with businesses and business groups including the Stamford Chamber of Commerce.

Additionally in the Autumn of last year, questionnaires were delivered to all 8,000 houses in the Stamford, encouraging people to give their views on how the town should develop over the next 20 years – almost 2,000 responses were received. As reported previously in the Mercury, based on responses from the survey, Stamford residents’ primary concern is for the town’s unique character and heritage to be protected as the area is developed. Other key issues of concern were parking, highways infrastructure, affordable housing, and a need to promote economic growth.

David said: “Stamford’s Neighbourhood Plan will not be a panacea and will not address all of the concerns which people have about the future development of the town, particularly the scale of it. Growth targets are set by local authorities in response to government demands. “In Stamford’s case this means that SKDC has proposed the allocation of land for almost 1,300 homes between now and 2036, with a further 600 by Rutland County Council, all to the north of the town. However, a neighbourhood plan cannot be used to prevent or reduce development. “But what the Stamford Plan will do is to shape that growth, influence where building should take place, what developments should look like and ensure that appropriate investment in infrastructure and services is made by developers to make growth sustainable. Already we have seen the benefits of developing the Neighbourhood Plan and by representing residents’ views to SKDC we have been able us to exert strong influence on its Local Plan.”

Talking about some of the “emerging” policies within the plan Mr Taylor told the Mercury that he expects upwards of 70 policies to be included. Key among those policies is one which calls for an holistic “masterplan” to be created for the whole of SKDC’s proposed “Stamford North” expansion to avoid a piecemeal approach to development. Other policies call for the creation of design policies and guidelines which protect the character of the town. And, in order to promote business growth within the town, the plan calls for previously allocated, as well as existing employment space in the town, to be protected to ensure that it can only be developed as such.

“As a Neighbourhood Planning group, we are wholly supportive of SKDC’s wishes to bring inward investment and jobs into the town and we see it as incumbent on us to ensure that land is available for this purpose. Stamford cannot simply be a dormitory town but needs to enable existing, growing, businesses to remain, and encourage new ones to establish themselves here.”

Following consultation with residents in early 2018, the Stamford Neighbourhood Plan will undergo independent examination to ensure that it conforms with due process before being the subject of a legally binding referendum among all Stamford residents. David went on to say:

“Developing this plan been a lengthier process than we had anticipated and we have been delayed to some extent by SKDC’s Local Plan running behind schedule. However, our ambition is to still to undertake consultation on the draft in the Spring of 2018. “Once Stamford’s Neighbourhood Plan is approved it becomes a statutory planning instrument which sets out planning polices to which developers have to conform.”

Read more at: Stamford Mercury

Residents Survey results – Stamford residents call for the Town’s unique character and heritage to be protected

That was the one of the clear findings of a consultation by the Stamford First team, which is aiming to put together a town neighbourhood plan. The plan, if approved through a town referendum, will shape the development of Stamford over the next two decades – and will be used by other authorities to guide decisions.

The consultation, via questionnaire, ran between August and October and there were 1,700 responses – equivalent to 21 per cent of all households. Stamford First was delighted with the response.

Chairman of Stamford First David Taylor, who is also a Stamford town councillor, said: “The results clearly demonstrate that whilst there is general acceptance that there will be growth in Stamford, there is a very strong desire to protect the town’s unique character and heritage and for it to retain it’s strong local identity and distinctiveness. Equally there is a clear demand that, with any development, there is an appropriate investment from would be developers in infrastructure and services to support sustainable growth.

Mr Taylor went on to say “Residents, through the survey, have plainly expressed a view that such investment should enable ways and means of limiting further stress on Stamford’s already overburdened road system. This is endorsed by the commonly held view amongst those surveyed that there should be an link road joining the east of the town with the A1 and relieve some town centre traffic.”

Now, using, the results from the consultation, the Stamford First team and other working groups will begin to draft an initial plan. It is hoped this will be done by the new year.

The draft plan will then be the subject of further consultation with the community before being submitted to an independent inspector for assessment. It is hoped the final plan will be ready to go to a town referendum in the Spring.

Respondents of the consultation were given the chance to win one of five £100 vouchers to spend in a Stamford restaurant as an incentive. Winners will be notified shortly.

http://www.stamfordmercury.co.uk/news/stamford-residents-call-for-town-s-unique-character-and-heritage-to-be-protected-1-7674256

FULL DETAILS OF THE SURVEY RESULTS CAN BE DOWNLOAD HERE