The Bell at Odell - watercolour painting

Watercolour by Tricia Hudson

Welcome

Odell Parish Council has decided that the village should have a Neighbourhood Plan. A Working Group of people from the village has been set up to do the detailed work involved. They will engage with villagers and others who have a stake in the village to ask for their views on what should be included in Odell’s Neighbourhood Plan. When it has been drafted, there will be a formal consultation on the Plan then it will be ‘examined’ by an independent expert, to ensure it complies with relevant national and Borough policies. Odell residents will then be asked to vote on whether the Plan should be approved and brought into force. This website will provide lots of information about Odell’s Neighbourhood Plan as it is developed. You can also register for regular updates and to give your views.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Plan is a document that sets out planning policies for a local area. It’s written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place.

It’s used to decide whether to approve planning applications, including new buildings (e.g. houses, community facilities) or changes to existing buildings (e.g. giving permission to convert farms buildings to homes). It’s not only about housing, it will also cover the provision of local services and facilities, the protection of green spaces and environmental matters.

Benefits of a Neighbourhood Plan

Giving People a Voice

It’s based on the views, aspirations, wants and needs of local people. It’s about the use and development of land and may also cover social, economic and environmental issues: green spaces, local services, housing and infrastructure etc.

Opportunity To Shape Any Changes

Residents and others with a stake in the village will be consulted and their views taken into account as the Plan is prepared Work on the Plan will mainly be done by Odell people, volunteering their time to help prepare the Neighbourhood Plan

Residents Can Vote On The Plan

There’s a 6-week consultation on the draft Plan. An independent expert then ‘examines’ the Plan. Is it evidence-based? Does it comply with the Borough’s Local Plan? If a majority of Odell electors vote to approve the final version, then it comes into force.

Planning Applications

The Parish has greater influence over the location and scale of any housing development. It strengthens the Parish’s and the Planning Authority’s ability to reject planning applications on sites not in the Plan. They can also better resist aggressive planning applications

Development Where People Want

If there’s a need for new housing, the Plan can specify where it should be located and how it’s designed and orientated. Odell’s Plan cannot provide for less housing than allocated to us in Bedford’s Local Plan – none in the Local Plan 2030

Community Infrastructure Levy

Bedford Borough charges developers £120 per m2 on new residential buildings in villages like Odell. 15% goes to the Parish Council, up to £100 per household – up to c£13,200 per year in Odell. With a neighbourhood plan, 25% comes to Odell with no upper limit i.e. £3,000-£5,000 per 3/4 bed house

Neighbourhood Plan Process

Stage 1 - Getting established
Designation of the neighbourhood area – Odell Parish. Publicity, engagement & setting up a working group. Identifying the issues & building an evidence base. Developing a vision & objectives for the Plan.
Stage 2 – Preparing the plan
Identifying the policy areas the Plan will cover. Drafting the plan with a policy for each issue. Meeting the basic conditions e.g. does it align with Bedford’s Local Plan? Six-week consultation on draft Plan.
Stage 3 – Bringing the plan into force
Submission of Plan to Bedford Borough Publicity – representations to the examiner. Independent examination. Referendum. Neighbourhood Plan comes into force.
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