In December, the Steering Group submitted the Draft Neighbourhood Plan to Lound Parish Council for their approval, on the understanding some changes might arise when the latest draft Bassetlaw District Council (BDC) Local Plan was released on 15th January 2020. It was envisaged such changes would contain modest refinements and our Draft Plan could be published this month, leading to a Public Consultation on its content.

In the event, after just one year, the draft BDC Local Plan showed a 37% increase in the requirement for new homes across Bassetlaw by 2037 and radical changes in how each town and village will contribute to these figures. The target for new homes in Lound, which is classified as a “small rural settlement”, has been doubled. This completely undermines the foundation on which the Lound Neighbourhood Plan was based.

The Residents’ Survey, 2016, showed a large majority of respondents believed little or no new housing was needed in the village. In January 2019, Part 1 of the draft BDC Local Plan stipulated a minimum of 21 new homes and our Draft Plan was revised upwards to meet this figure. The Steering Group were confident the Draft Plan was a realistic compromise and the policies written into it would protect the village from inappropriate development. Now we are being told that 42 new homes are required, calculated at 20% of dwellings in the Parish. This figure is neither fair nor sustainable. BDC’s presentation given at the recent Rural Conference will be available on the village website.

The Steering Group, which includes Parish Councillors, have remonstrated strongly with Bassetlaw officials that their disproportionate methods of seeking the higher figures unfairly penalise the small rural settlements such as Lound. Discussions have been opened with BDC to find a way around this impasse.

The draft BDC Local Plan is available to view on their website- and this also allows you to comment on the draft during the consultation with the public, which is open until 26th February 2020. Copies should be available at Council offices or libraries. You are encouraged to write or email your concerns to Bassetlaw District Council, as individual responses and representations are very important and carry significant weight. A suggested form of words for this will be available on the village website. Those without internet access can obtain a paper copy from Nick Prout at 83, Town Street. The postal address is Planning Policy, Bassetlaw District Council, Queen’s Buildings, Potter Street, Worksop, Notts, S80 2AH and the email is:

We hope you will feel able to support your Parish Council and its Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.