Planning for a Place to be Proud of | Colney Heath Parish Neighbourhood Plan | Our First Survey
A crucial part of the process of creating our Neighbourhood Plan is engaging and consulting with our community. As such, during the summer of 2014, we undertook a number of surveys.
The very first was at Colney Heath Primary School where every pupil was given a questionnaire to take home to complete. Following this, we surveyed every resident, business and organisation in the Parish:-
- Every household was sent a questionnaire, together with a reply-paid envelope, in the summer edition of the Colney Heath Chronicle – the Parish Quarterly Magazine.
- Many homes were visited by members of their local Community Plan Working Party to encourage residents to participate.
- Community Working Party members also attended several local festivities to publicise our work.
- Every business in the Parish was visited and presented with a questionnaire to complete.
- Every organisation was contacted and asked to complete a questionnaire.
- With the support of St Albans District Council, all three questionnaires were made available on-line on this Parish website.
We received over 5,000 statements from around 500 returns. One of our residents, Mike Rawlins, copied every single statement from every single questionnaire received into a spreadsheet and used this to undertake a detailed analysis. The results are now available on our website – we are sure they make interesting reading – as you can find out:-
- Survey 1 Results | Parish Residents, Businesses and Organisations
- Survey 1 Results | Colney Heath Primary School Pupils
A second, more detailed survey will be undertaken in Spring 2015.
GET INVOLVED! If you’d like to join our Parish Plan Working Party and become a member of your local Community Group and thereby play your part in producing your Community Plan, please contact the Parish Office ASAP.
Are you aware that, within just a couple of miles of your home, developers have published plans to build over 2000 dwellings? For example:
- Goodman Development Plans for Hatfield Business Park - 1000 homes
- Welwyn-Hatfield District Council Plans for the Ellenbrook - 360 homes
- Oaklands College - 350 homes
- St Albans Football Club - 170 homes
- Beaumont School - 75 homes
- Gascoyne Cecil Estate (Salisbury) Development Plans for Ellenbrook and Sleapshyde - ??? homes
More recently –
• St Albans Green Belt Review (Part 2)
Consultants have recommended that a large area of land around Beaumont School and Oaklands College should be taken out of the Green Belt to provide up to 1160 new homes (depending on housing density): this is almost 3 times the number of new homes that Oaklands College and Beaumont School have currently applied for.
• Chester Nurseries: Oaklands Lane, Smallford
Following their successful appeal against The District Council’s decision to refuse their planning application, they have been given permission to build up to 22 new homes.
• Affinity Water: Roestock Lane, Colney Heath
The Company have stated that they plan to put in a planning application to develop their Operational Depot and Pumping Station site to ‘create a parkland housing scheme’.
What other plans might developers be considering and devising?
The Government’s legislation on Planning Laws is intended to make it much easier for developers to get planning permission. At the same time, the Government is encouraging local communities, like ours, to take more responsibility for what happens in their own area – under the title of 'Localism'.
At the core of 'Localism' is encouraging local people to put together what is called a 'Neighbourhood Plan'. Once agreed, The Neighbourhood Plan will have the status of a statutory document that landowners and developers will have to comply with.
The Plan will enable Parish residents to:
- Protect our community and its environment from over-development.
- Have some influence over our future – e.g. ensure some coherence and consistency to development.
- Describe how we would like our parish to grow and develop.
We have started the process of producing a Neighbourhood Plan for Colney Heath Parish:
- Formed a Working Party of interested residents – we are proud to say that currently we have around 90 people.
- Identified seven local areas within the Parish and created seven groups to develop a Community Plan for each one:-
- Alban Way South (along Colney Heath Lane and Barley Mow Lane)
- Colney Heath Village
- Highfield/Hill End
- Oaklands (along Hatfield Road and including most of the Oaklands College Smallford Campus)
- Tyttenhanger Green
- Are providing resources and support for all of the groups – including a technical advisor, a project manager, meeting space, printing facilities, developing a library of documents and resources...
Once completed and agreed, our seven 'Community Plans' will be integrated to produce the final 'Colney Heath Neighbourhood Plan'.
Our Neighbourhood Plan is probably the most important document The Parish has ever produced!
The future of our Parish is dependent on it!
As a resident of Colney Heath, your involvement in its production is a crucial part of the process – eg you will receive correspondence from your Community Group, from The Parish Council and later on a copy of our draft Neighbourhood Plan for your comments – and, hopefully endorsement. Finally, it will be presented to St Albans District Council and an Independent Advisor for final approval.
The best way to find out what’s going on is to get involved with your own Community Working Party. If you’d like to do so, please contact The Colney Heath Parish Office – 01727 825314 or email@example.com
Similarly, contact us if you’d like more information – we’ll happily answer your questions.