Minister talks about shaping communities

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A Government minister has visited Daventry to talk about the advantages of setting up neighbourhood plans.

Nick Boles, parliamentary under-secretary of state, department for communities and local government, visited the newly built Daventry University Technical College on Thursday last week to speak on the subject.

The minister, who was invited by the town’s MP Chris Heaton-Harris, spoke to the chairman of a number of parish councils about the advantages including being able to shape development in the local area.

Neighbourhood plans were bought in by the Conservative Government in 2011.

Mr Boles said: “This means that a village or a parish can say this is where we want development and we want to protect our green spaces.

“Instead of having other people making decisions about the local community such as experts, planning officers and councillors, it means that you can.

“A neighbourhood plan cannot be used to block housing development but you can use it as a way to shape things.

“If you need to build a certain number of houses in your village but you don’t want them on a certain site, then 
a neighbourhood plan ensures that you have development in the places that you want it.

“It has been incredibly popular and a great way 
of bringing the community together,” Mr Boles added.

The deputy mayor for Daventry said he found the visit useful.

Cllr Ron Fox said: “I am 50/50 on the subject of neighbourhood plans. I think we need to know more about the long term plans for the town before we could look at one.

“I think it was very useful for the people who attended the event.”




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