Our Role in the Planning Process
Silsoe Parish Council has a responsibility to review all planning applications affecting the village, and our Planning Committee sits every month to discuss all proposals notified by Central Bedfordshire Council.
It is important to note, our role is not to sit in judgement and we do not have right of refusal. All applications are reviewed against our adopted Neighbourhood Plan detailed below, which seeks to safeguard the village from inappropriate development.
Applications can be reviewed on the Central Beds Planning Portal Central Bedfordshire Council Planning Pages where residents can submit comments online or e-mail the Planning Officer concerned who will make the final decision. Alternatively, you are welcome to attend the monthly Parish Council Planning Meeting to voice any concerns.
Silsoe has it’s own Neighbourhood Plan which was adopted after the Referendum on October 3rd 2019! The Neighbourhood Plan is a way for local people to influence the planning and development of the area in which they live and work – it lasts until 2035 and enables residents to :
– Choose where new homes, shops, offices and other development should be built and influence what type of housing should be built
– Identify and protect important local green spaces or other treasured assets
The Neighbourhood Plan sits underneath the CBC Local Plan, complying with their core strategy and the governments’ wider strategy for sustainable development. Having a Neighbourhood Plan ensures that we have a say and some degree of influence in whatever happens in Silsoe. Because it’s approved, the Plan has legal force in setting out what development is acceptable in our parish and for what reasons; developers and the local authority planners will apply our policies when putting forward planning proposals from now on.
Our Neighbourhood Plan area for Silsoe was designated by Central Bedfordshire Council on 12th December 2016. Click here for the Decision Notice. We voted on our Policies in the Referendum. Referendum Notice.
Our Policies are listed below, however full context and all associated documents can be found here:
– Silsoe Neighbourhood Plan
– Silsoe Village Design Statement
– Silsoe Green Infrastructure Plan
– Statement on Community Consultation
– Basic Conditions Statement
The Silsoe Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee (SNPSC)
The Silsoe Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee (SNPSC) members included:
Helen Flack – Chair
Julie McGrory – Secretary
Helen Skepper – Treasurer
Neighbourhood Plan Vision
“maintain our picturesque and historic village as a place where people aspire to live; with housing and services to meet the needs of all our residents; where traffic is managed so that our sites are accessible to visitors; and that local businesses enjoy the benefits of being advantageously placed, yet respect the heritage of the village”The Neighbourhood Plan Constitution
Historic Environment Policy SNP/HE-1
• Harm to the significance of Registered Parks and Gardens, caused either by development within them or by development in their setting, should be avoided. Where a development may cause harm, applicants must clearly demonstrate how the scheme has sought to avoid or minimise it. Where harm remains, it must be clearly and convincingly justified.
•Development proposals that impact on the Chilterns AONB should be supported by a Landscape Visual Impact Assessment.
• Development proposals must take into account assets of historic environment value, including Conservation areas and their settings.
Silsoe sits in the setting (within 5km) of the Chilterns AONB – please see the map below to show what parts of Silsoe are impacted by this.
Historic Environment Policy SNP/HE-2
• Silsoe’s Heritage assets are irreplaceable. Development must conserve heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance. All development in Silsoe will be expected to make a positive contribution to local character.
Historic Environment Policy SNP/HE-3
• Development should take into account the importance of orchards, sandstone walls and other structures made of traditional materials that add to Silsoe’s character, distinctiveness and biodiversity.
Strategic Policy SNP/SP-1
• Small-scale new residential development in Silsoe that appears in keeping with its surroundings and makes a contribution to local character will be supported.
Strategic Policy SNP/SP-2
• The provision of retail, service (including healthcare) and / or community facilities will be supported. The loss of local shops, services and facilities will not be supported unless there is evidence, such as six months active open marketing, to demonstrate that such use is no longer viable. New commercial development must respect local character, residential amenity and highway safety.
Housing Policy SNP/HP-1
• The provision of housing for older people, affordable housing, bungalows, 1-2 bedroom homes, adaptable, accessible and mobility homes standards will all be supported. Proposals for residential development should have regard to the Silsoe Village Design Statement and Lifetime Homes Design Guide (Habinteg).
High Quality Policy SNP/HQ-1
All development in Silsoe must be of the highest quality. It should reflect the guidance provided in the Silsoe Village Design Statement and should, through for example, the use of local materials and innovative design, take into account and integrate well with its surroundings.
• Development should, where possible and achievable, promote the use of public transport, walking and cycling. It should provide for sufficient parking such that there is no harm to highway safety and landscaping should include locally appropriate trees and shrubs.
High Quality Policy SNP/HQ-2
• The provision of infrastructure to support high quality electronic communications networks, including telecommunications and high speed broadband, will be supported. Existing masts, buildings or other structures should be used, unless the need for a new site is justified. Where new sites are required, equipment should be sympathetically designed and camouflaged, having regard to local character. Whilst not a policy requirement, Silsoe Parish Council strongly encourages providers to consult on any such proposals as early as possible.
Development in the Countryside Policy SNP/DC-1
• The development and diversification of agricultural and other land-based businesses will be supported. The re-use of redundant or disused buildings that leads to an enhancement of the immediate setting will be supported
Environment Policy SNP/EP-1
The 21 areas listed below are designated as areas of Local Green Space, where development is ruled out other than in very special circumstances. They are listed as –
• Silsoe Millennium Green, Allotments, Village Green, Village Park, Community Woodland, Western Greenspace, Buckle Grove CWS, Orchard (Mander Farm), Thrift Wood CWS, Woodland (Wardhedges), Silsoe Springs Nature Reserve, Silsoe Pit CWS, Simpsonhill Plantation CWS, Warren Wood, Orchard (The Beeches), The Rowans Amenity Space, Land off Park Ave Amenity Space, Hawthorn Way Gault Pit, Forest Path Play Area, Olney Green, Lodge Green. A map of the Local Green Spaces can be found above.
Environment Policy SNP/EP-2
• Development should be avoided in areas at risk of flooding. Where development is necessary, it should be made safe without increasing flood risk elsewhere. Solutions incorporating SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) will be supported.
Environment Policy SNP/EP-3
• The protection, buffering and/or enhancement of biodiversity assets and networks, especially along the Flit Valley, the protection and enhancement of hedgerows, and the linking of areas of biodiversity value to create more robust networks, will be supported. Buffer in this in-stance means to create habitation immediately adjacent to key sites, to help protect the “core” of the site from wider impacts and the effects of isolation.
Environment Policy SNP/EP-4
• New development must respect its landscape setting. New development within the setting of the AONB should demonstrate how it will conserve and enhance the AONB’s special qualities.
Environment Policy SNP/EP-5
• The protection and / or enhancement of public rights of way, especially the creation of circular routes and the development of the Flit Valley Walk will be supported.
Employment & Economy Policy SNP/EE-1
• New commercial development must respect local character and residential amenity. It must not result in severe residual cumulative impacts in respect of traffic movements and should not result in harm to highway safety but should seek to minimise conflicts between traffic and cyclists or pedestrians.
Employment & Economy Policy SNP/EE-2
• The development of tourism and leisure development in Silsoe which respects local character will be supported. The loss of Silsoe’s pubs will not be supported, whereas development that supports their sustainability whilst demonstrating regard for local character and residential amenity will be supported.
Transport Policy SNP/TP-1
• Wherever more than five parking spaces are provided there should be at least one charging point for electric vehicles.