"As the Authority responsible for planning in the National Park, we need to ensure that our policies reflect the opportunities and challenges that are important to individuals and communities."
Glen Sanderson, National Park chairman
Residents, business owners, land owners and visitors are being urged to have their say on the latest draft planning policies which will guide the development and use of land in Northumberland National Park over the next 20 years.
Northumberland National Park Authority is hosting another series of drop-in consultation events throughout the Park in June to invite further public feedback on its Draft Local Plan.
The latest version of the Local Plan includes amendments and updates following the Authority’s wide-reaching public consultation in August 2018.
Key challenges relate to the Park’s ageing population, shrinking labour force with fewer working age families living in the area, affordable housing stock and sustainable transport.
Based on public feedback; the revised Local Plan proposes a number of positive changes that will allow more flexibility around housing development to attract young families to live in the Park, in an aim to boost the number of working age families, the rural economy and create greater resilience within the Park’s rural communities.
Glen Sanderson, chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority, explains: “It has been very helpful to receive valuable feedback from people who live, work and visit the Park in the development of our Local Plan.
“As the Authority responsible for planning in the National Park, we need to ensure that our policies reflect the opportunities and challenges that are important to individuals and communities in the Park. The public’s comments have been instrumental in enabling us to identify a range of proposed policies on matters from affordable housing provision to community services and job creation.
“The policies contained in the approved Local Plan will be used to guide future decisions about planning and development in the Park, setting out where new homes, workplaces and other developments should be built to meet the Park’s future needs and to conserve its valuable environmental assets up to 2037.
“This is the last opportunity for you to have your say before it is submitted to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate for independent examination, so it’s really important that residents, businesses and stakeholders get involved.”
The Northumberland National Park Authority Local Plan consultation begins on 31 May and closes on 12 July 2019. There are four public consultation drop-in events take place during June at venues in and around the Park. The sessions offer local communities a final opportunity to share their views that will help to shape the Park’s future planning and development policies.
The Local Plan consultation events are open from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the following venues:
• 4 June: The Sill National Landscape Discovery, Once Brewed, Hexham, NE47 7AN.
• 11 June: The Cheviot Centre, Padgepool Place, Wooler, NE71 6BL.
• 19 June: Bellingham Town Hall, Bellingham, NE48 2AS.
• 25 June: Elsdon Village Hall, Elsdon, NE19 1AB.
For more information, please go to the Northumberland National Park website.