Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 6, 2018

The Bickerstaffe Bulletin

The Bickerstaffe Parish Council issues newsletters called “The Bickerstaffe Bulletin” to its parishioners. Its Summer 2018 edition carries news of the upcoming WLBC Local Plan Review.

“As a parish  within the Green Belt, development in Bickerstaffe is limited by Green Belt policy. The Green Belt serves five main purposes: to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas; to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another; to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment; to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; to assist in urban regeneration, and by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

“Green Belt policy, which aims to permanently protect open land through tight controls over most forms of development, has largely governed any development in Bickerstaffe for the past 30 years, including meaning that no land is allocated for development at the present time.

“However…change is potentially afoot…Planning permission for the permanent development of currently designated green belt land could be granted in the future if WLBC’s Local Plan Review chooses to release land from the Green Belt for allocation for development.

“A number of sites have been submitted to the Council by landowners and agents as potential development sites; these sites are coloured pink on the enclosed map . These are only proposals at the moment and WLBC will consider which sites to include in the Local Plan Review, and will seek the views of the public of West Lancashire in the Autumn on their selected “Preferred Options”.

“So the PC considers it to be very important that residents’ views are taken into account and seeks to co-ordinate a response. There may be some areas where residents think it is acceptable, and indeed needed for new housing plans, but there may be other sites where residents feel the proposals are more sensitive for a variety of reasons. Whatever your views, the Parish Council would like to know, so it is going to send a questionnaire to every home in the Parish, consulting on residents’ views.

“We would ask for your co-operation in returning the questionnaire—full instructions will accompany it. Enclosed within this newsletter (open up the folded part) is a map of Bickerstaffe, taken from the WLBC Srategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA), showing all the land which landowners have put forward as potential housing development land—highlighted in purple —this does not mean that houses will automatically be built on this land, it means that if a developer bought the land, housing could be put on this land if WLBC allocates that area in its Local Plan Review”.

Whose policy is it? “The National Planning Policy Framework sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how these should be applied. It provides a framework within which locally-prepared plans for housing and other development can be produced”.

As for its questionnaire, is that unique for a parish council? Could be! No sign of Aughton PC sending one. But then APC supported development of its green belt. And it doesn’t issue newsletters either.


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