Residents of Burscough know of the four year process of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the village by its Parish Council.
It will be confirmed by a village referendum in July. It contains a vision, objectives, and policies covering 2019 to 2027. It means that the CIL will increase from 15% to 25% per dwelling for the benefit of the parish rather than WLBC.
By contrast, Aughton Parish Council remains moribund, a lesson in waning interest. As we wrote in our Old Cock and Bull report on 1 April 2019, the Tory led APC in 2014 also controlled the borough, and prayed for its eternal life. But also in 2014, residents of Aughton were agitating for a Neighbourhood Plan. They received short shrift despite some months of pressure.
But now we move on to read the “Aughton Parish Council minutes of February 2019” meeting. “The Chairman (Cllr Graham Jones) posed the question ‘Should Aughton Parish Council lead on a Neighbourhood Plan?’ – this item would be included on the Agenda of the Annual Parish Assembly 2019 (a meeting for the electors of the Parish)”.
We repeat the history of the APC wasted years below.
APC minutes 13 JANUARY 2014 10199 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING – after discussion, it was AGREED to set up a Working Group to include the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and 2 other councillors to consider the item further and report back to the full council at a future meeting.
APC minutes 10 FEBRUARY 2014 Mr Colin Atkinson, Chairman of ARG 2012, asked if the Working Group (WG) had met yet in respect of Neighbourhood Planning. The Chairman Cllr Graham Jones said the WG meeting had not been held due to members’ other commitments but a meeting was planned over the coming months when more information was available.
APC minutes 10 MARCH 2014 Mr Atkinson of Long Lane asked if there had been any progress in the setting up of a PC working group in respect of Neighbourhood Planning. The Chairman Cllr Graham Jones said the matter was progressing slowly with the gathering of information from WLBC, CPRE, etc. It was clear that Neighbourhood Planning could not conflict with the adopted Local Plan Policies, could not be used to prevent development that is included in the Local Plan and could promote more development than is set out in the Local Plan. The compilation of a Neighbourhood Plan would involve a great deal of time and effort. The item would be returned to the Agenda once a recommendation from the Working Group had been received.
APC minutes14 APRIL 2014 Mr Colin Atkinson of ARG 2012 raised the issue of the Parish Council Working Group to consider Neighbourhood Planning and the proposed review of the Aughton Parish Plan; the publication of an ‘In Touch’ leaflet which was being distributed around the Parish; and gave his views on the West Lancashire Local Plan Annual Monitoring Report 2013. The Chairman (Vice Chairman Dudley Walne) advised that the PC Working Group held its first meeting in April. As previously notified, recommendations on all matters discussed by the Working Group would be returned to the Agenda once finalised. On the ‘In Touch’ leaflet, Aughton Parish Council had nothing to do with the content or production of this leaflet and this concluded the matter.
APC minutes 9 JUNE 2014 10288 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN, AUGHTON’S PARISH PLAN 2010, COMMUNICATION – the Chairman Dudley Walne (Vice-Chairman) gave the Working Group’s recommendations on all three matters: a) Neighbourhood Plan (NP) – consideration had been given to the aims, process and costs – the main aim of a NP was to expand and develop the Parish; a NP should not conflict with the strategic policies in the adopted Local Plan or be used to prevent development that was included in the Local Plan. Recommendation – as there was a robust adopted West Lancashire Local Plan in place, the Working Group could see no benefits in preparing a NP.
What can’t speak can’t lie, and what goes around comes around? In Aughton, unlike Burscough, nothing extra will come around, because “the Working Group could see no benefits in preparing a NP”.