Towards the Alvechurch Parish  Neighbourhood Plan(NP)


The video on  next page explains NP’s in more detail       

click here 

There is also a useful video that advises how to go about making a Neighbourhood Plan ,from an Examiners point of view on the FAQs  page click

CLICK here…………


click here    

The Vision for Alvechurch

“Alvechurch 2030- where managed change and celebration of its rural character combine in a community better by design”


 booklet 1booklet 2








booklet 3


These three pictures are the first three pages of a community Booklet soon to be delivered to our parish residents. This will give an update on the NP process ,explaining how things are going. There is also an opportunity to comment on the NP so far so that the Steering group can take on board any amendments or ideas that you may want to pass on to us . By returning your comments there will be an opportunity to be entered into a draw for 5 cash prizes .

You can get a more easy to read version of the whole booklet by clicking on this link below

APNP A4 BOOKLET desktop updated version 30-08-16


Poster for What about HousingWe are entering  into a new era for planning. The Government is placing a renewed emphasis on planning at the very local level because it believes that local people know best what local needs are and how they can influence and shape the future of their area.

This local knowledge, and our local sense of what needs to be protected and what needs to change, can really make a difference and our whole community should play a part in deciding on the process.


At Steering Group led community presentations

One resident said, “We don’t need any more large housing estates, just small homes suitable for young people and some for our ageing population”.

Unfortunately we can’t ignore the fact that some new housing will always be needed  for  in the future. However in Alvechurch our last allocated development site indicated in the Bromsgrove District Council (BDC) district plan, has now been built on and completed in 2016, now we  only have Green Belt land left in Alvechurch Parish. Therefore new housing  needed  for  those years to come, as instructed by Government, will have to be on land released through a Local Authority (LA)  Green Belt review.

The Neighbourhood Plan thinks our community should have a say if and when that time comes.

You can get more information about the Green Belt by visiting this link below : 

click here:     THE GREEN BELT

What does the Neighbourhood Plan do?

Sometimes called a Neighbourhood Development Plan it can be used to:

  • Develop a shared vision for our Parish and its different parts.
  • Choose where new homes, shops, offices and other development should be built, and influence what infrastructure should be allocated to it.
  • Identify and protect important local green spaces.
  • Influence what new buildings should look like.

Neighbourhood Plans are optional. There is no legal requirement for our community to prepare such a Plan. However without one we rely solely on the Local Planning Authority development plan and its policies.

What is the role of Bromsgrove District Council as the local planning authority?

Bromsgrove DC is required to give support, assistance and advice but it cannot control the Neighbourhood Plan preparation process. Nor can it produce a Neighbourhood Plan on behalf of our local community. It is the responsibility of Alvechurch Parish Council to lead the preparation of the community Neighbourhood Plan.

Bromsgrove as the local planning authority will also be required to check our proposed Neighbourhood Plan to ensure that it generally conforms to the strategic elements of its own Local Plan and once happy that it has been prepared correctly, it will arrange for an independent examination.

If our Neighbourhood Plan passes the examination, Bromsgrove Council will be responsible for arranging a local referendum on the Alvechurch Neighbourhood Plan. The costs incurred by the examination and the referendum will be paid for by Bromsgrove Council.

If it is approved by a simple majority of the public it will then have achieved legal status and must be used as the first step within the Local Planning Development Framework.

So you  see the need for total community involvement to prepare such a Neighbourhood Plan

What a Neighbourhood Plan can and cannot do

A Neighbourhood Plan can…

  •  Decide where and what type of development should happen in the neighbourhood.
  • Promote more development than is set out in the Local Plan.
  • Include policies, for example, those relating to design standards, which will then take precedence over existing policies in the Local Plan. This is provided the Neighbourhood Plan policies do not conflict with the strategic policies in the Bromsgrove Local Plan.

A Neighbourhood Plan cannot…

  • Conflict with the strategic policies in the Local Plan prepared by Bromsgrove Council as the local planning authority.
  • Be used to prevent development that is included in the Local Plan.
  • Be prepared by a body other than a parish or town council or a neighbourhood forum.

What can a Neighbourhood Plan contain?

So long as our Neighbourhood Plan complies with the above principles, it can be as narrow or as broad as we wish. But it must be primarily about the use and development of land and buildings.  It can also have a say in how buildings should look (their ‘design’), or the materials they are constructed from.

  • The development of housing, including affordable housing (affordable housing is housing that is not normally for sale on the open market), and bringing vacant or derelict housing back into use
  • Provision for businesses to set up or expand their premises.
  • Transport and access (including issues around roads, cycling, walking and access for disabled people).
  • The development of schools, places of worship, health facilities, leisure and entertainment facilities, community and youth centres   and village halls.
  • The restriction of certain types of development and change of use, for example to avoid too much of one type of use.
  • The design of buildings.
  • Protection and creation of open space, nature reserves, allotments, sports pitches, play areas, parks and gardens, and the planting of trees.
  •  Protection of important buildings and historic assets such as archaeological remains, a pub ,a shop, or even a  Post Office!
  • Promotion of renewable energy projects, such as solar energy and wind turbines, forests.

We hope you agree with us that we need a Neighbourhood Plan for our area. Preparing a plan will require a lot of time and effort. Although how much time it will take will vary depending on the issues our community want to cover. It may take between 1 and 2 years so we will need the help of people with a wide range of views and skills enabling us all to reach a broad consensus on objectives, key issues and desired outcomes.

The ultimate result should be very rewarding and our Alvechurch Parish Neighbourhood Plan should help our community come together, be stronger and more united for having gone through the process.

The process is seen as a positive force for change giving us more control over what happens in our neighbourhood.

Involving our Alvechurch Community

 We will involve people using methods like:

• Meetings, events, road shows.

• Leaflets and posters;

• Workshops and questionnaires;

• Website, email groups and social media (e.g. Face-book, twitter);

• Notices in parish magazines or local newsletters; and

• The local press and radio stations.

In developing our Alvechurch Parish Neighbourhood Plan we need to ensure a two-way flow of information, backwards and forwards between the steering group and the wider community.


This note has been compiled by the Alvechurch Parish Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, which has been set up by Alvechurch Parish Council. It is based on the publication “How to shape where you live: a guide to neighbourhood planning”, produced by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and the National Association of Local Councils

Bromsgrove District Council approved the designation of the parish of Alvechurch as a neighbourhood area in January 2013. This was in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012. The qualifying body was Alvechurch Parish Council.

Alvechurch Neighbourhood Plan Area Map
Alvechurch Neighbourhood Plan Application – 24.09.2012
Alvechurch Parish Designation Letter – 23.01.2013
Alvechurch Parish Neighbourhood Plan website (External website)

SEA and HRA Screening Assessment

A screening assessment was undertaken in September 2015 to check if the emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan required a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) or a Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA). The three statutory consultees were consulted (Environment Agency, Historic England, and Natural England). The SEA and HRA screening assessment and the consultee responses can be viewed here:





“We can effect change, or we can be affected by change…The choice is ours” Your  help is essential in the making of the Alvechurch Parish Neighbourhood plan

Supported by funding from the Community Development Foundation





4 Responses to Welcome

  1. John Ball says:

    Your printed update for residents received today says there are 6 proposed draft policies for the Housing topic. Will these be published on your website?

    • Hi John,
      at the moment the policies are only draft policies and need to be health checked before publishing into the website as policies are evolving as the Neighbourhood Plan progresses. It is proposed that when all policies are formulated these will be shown in a pre-referendum public consultation with a six week period following for anyone to respond.

      Kind regards
      Adrian Smith
      chair APNP steering group

  2. Mark foley says:

    With regards to the plan I am a resident on swan st and would comment on 2 aspects. There is a suggestion of reducing speed limits through the village to 20 mph – I fully support this but a limit will only have a positive impact if enforced and I think it is time to consider having speed cameras at both sides of the village. Cars accelerate from the swan pinch point to well in excess of 30 mph. Has dual parking up Swan st been considered with restricted resident permits and no lines in the road to force drivers to slow down? My second point is about social responsibility. The residents of swan st wrote to the pub freeholders to complain about excessive noise after closing time. This is still a problem with people drinking on the front steps of the pub – could the alcohol exclusion zone include the front of pubs and also be enforced?

    • Thank you Mark, these are issues for the Parish Council to pass on the Bromsgrove District Council re, Noise nuisance and to Worcestershire County Council(WCC) in respect of enforcing a 20MPH limit if the Neighbourhood Plan is successful in convincing WCC Highways Department (who are the legislative department that deals with county highways) that we need 20MPH zones, and its they who should cooperate with police in enforcing speed limits.

      Hope this answers your question, as the Neighbourhood Plan(NP) at the moment can only suggest these things , its if the NP is supported by our community by voting yes for it at a referendum that it will have then a legal status.

      Kind regards
      Adrian Smith Chair APNP.

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