Chapel-en-le-Frith’s long-awaited Neighbourhood Plan looks set to be heading for a referendum after being approved by High Peak Borough Council.
If given the green light by the Peak District National Park Authority on Friday, locals will then be asked to vote if they want the two authorities to use the plan to help decide planning applications in the parish in the future.
I think this is a perfect example of localism. It is a true plan for the community.Cllr David Lomax
If more than 50 per cent of those voting vote yes, the borough council is then required to bring the plan into force.
Prepared by Chapel Vision and Chapel Parish Council, the plan, that will shape the way the parish grows until 2028, has been developed with input from local residents through consultation events and questionnaires.
Speaking at an extraordinary meeting of High Peak Borough Council to discuss the Neighbourhood Plan on Monday night, council leader Cllr Caitlin Bisknell said: “This plan has been several years in the making.
“I want to place on record my thanks to all those who have been involved, Chapel Vision and Chapel Parish Council for all their hard work.”
And Cllr Anthony McKeown added: “I’d just like to record my thanks to all the local people who have been involved in the preparation of the plan. “There has been a high level of interest and the public meeting held in November had over 300 people attending.
“Hopefully now this plan can move on to the next stage and provide some of the protection and guidance the people of Chapel want.”
The plan has been examined by an Independent Examiner and has been recommended to move forward with a few amendments.
And after being unanimously agreed by members at the meeting on Monday night, it will now go ahead for a referendum in July, providing it is approved by the Peak District National Park Authority.
Cllr Stuart Young, who is also a Chapel parish councillor, said: “It seems a long time coming. Enough is enough for the residents of Chapel, we’ve had the brunt of house building at the moment and I think it is only too right electors have the chance for a referendum now to have their say.”
Cllr Tim Norton, also a Chapel parish councillor, added: “This is needed for Chapel-en-le-Frith. This gives significant weight to officers when future planning applications come forward within the parish and does give officers grounds to refuse where they had not had previously.”
And Cllr David Lomax commented: “I think this is a perfect example of localism. It is a true plan for the community.”