Since April 2012 communities, such as the villagers of Eaton Bray, have been able to lead future planning of their local area through Neighbourhood Development Plans if they receive a 50% yes vote in a public referendum.
Eaton Bray Parish Council set up a Steering Group of Eaton Bray residents to draw up and write a Neighbourhood Plan (NP). The Group has met twice to establish the way forward and as a result chosen three main areas to concentrate effort on with smaller focus groups, and those are as follows:
Covering a diverse range of subjects from inside and outside recreational spaces to village events, and anything in fact that helps to maintain and grow a community spirit.
Includes; green spaces, green belt, and diversification of existing and new green space, ecology and sustainability.
Encompassing existing and planned housing and developments, monuments, businesses, shops, etc. Design and development of spaces will include the relationship of space and properties occupying it.
The NP is not going to be just a building and planning guideline strategy document, but will also encompass many other criteria that will serve to help to put some heart back into the community. It is not yet clear exactly how long this project will take but is likely to be around 12 months before the NP is put forward for approval by Central Bedfordshire Council and followed by a referendum so that all the residents of Eaton Bray can approve the Plan.
The Steering Group will be reporting progress through the Focus Magazine so that residents can keep up to date. If you would like your voice to be heard, please feel free to attend the next Steering Group meeting. Meetings are planned for the last Monday of the month (excluding Bank Holidays) at 19:30hrs at the Coffee Tavern, Eaton Bray.