Cllr Elum-Smith to step down from Village Hall Trust to focus on driving forward a Colnbrook Neighbourhood Plan

A Colnbrook with Poyle Neighbourhood Plan could be set to finally move forward now that one of the twelve parish councillors is to be freed of other commitments in order to devote more time to the project.

Will Eddy Elum-Smith be able to finally drive forward a Colnbrook with Poyle Neighbourhood Plan?

Will Eddy Elum-Smith be able to finally drive forward a Colnbrook with Poyle Neighbourhood Plan?

Cllr Elum-Smith is set to be freed up to concentrate on the long-standing aspiration to develop a Colnbrook with Poyle Neighbourhood Plan.

The initiative was discussed most recently at last Tuesday’s Finance & Policy Committee.  Cllr Eddy Elum-Smith was asked to report on progress on the new sub committee set up last month but said the new group had failed to meet.  In the ensuing discussion it was agreed that Cllr Elum-Smith would step down from the Village Hall Trust in order to dedicate more time to the project.

Chair Cllr Hood agreed to find someone else to take on the CVHT representation for the Parish Council – already two other councillors already attend CVHT meetings double-hatting for other groups (Cllrs Jackson and Angell), and a further two former councillors also serve.

Cllr suggested that Cllr Smith be involved in the project. He told councillors present that funding is now available and an application needed to be considered, but has already suggested outsourcing the work:

“If the council could get funding this could then be used to employ a consultant to do a lot of the ground work.”

Neighbourhood planning

The project, which has been seen two u-turns first being mooted in 2012, and a number of false starts, has made little progress since Cllr Laxman shared a proposed ‘preliminary document’ in February.

In the mean time the Heathrow Villages Forum published draft proposals for a Neighbourhood Plan covering Sipson, Harlington and Harmondsworth in June.

Seven Neighbourhood Plans in Windsor and Maidenhead are progressing well, with one already passing through a local referendum.  Eton and Wick has distributed a questionnaire to all households and business properties in its area this month. It is currently holding a consultation which will close on Monday 26 October.  Horton and Wraysbury’s Neighbourhood Plan team is busy preparing its draft plan ready for further consultation by the community early next year – including drop-in events in Wraysbury and Horton, probably late January.

And over the border in South Bucks Iver Parish Council submitted its own application on Tuesday (October 27) to the Council to declare Iver, Iver Heath and Richings Park as a Neighbourhood Area.

The long and winding road to a Colnbrook Neighbourhood Plan

When Where What Happened?
October 2015 Iver Iver Parish Council submits an application to South Bucks District Council seeking to declare the entire Parish of Iver as a Neighbourhood Area.
September 2015 Finance & Policy Committee Cllrs Ellum-Smith and Grewal volunteer to lead a new sub-committee to kick-start a new Colnbrook with Poyle Neighbourhood Plan.
June 2015 Heathrow Villages The Heathrow Villages Forum publishes its draft proposals for its own Neighbourhood Plan.
February 2015 Finance & Policy Committee Cllr Laxman shares a proposed ‘preliminary document’ to councillors present. The intention is to circulate this to selected groups as a precursor to a main questionnaire.  Nothing is published to residents.
June 2014 Parish Council Cllr Laxman tells fellow councillors they need to let residents know what the Neighbourhood Plan is in order to get more input from volunteers to get it moving again.
July 2014 Services Committee Cllr Hood asks for members’ views on progressing a Neighbourhood Plan. A working party comprising councillors Akram, Cheema, Laxman, MacDougald and Smith is formed to prepare a report to progress the work.  Introduction of “a new viable website that interacted with the parishioners” will form part of the new working party’s considerations.  No further progress is reported.
June 2014 Datchet Datchet Parish Council manages an 11% response rate from residents on a questionnaire to move forward with its Neighbourhood Plan.
March 2014 Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale become the first area in Windsor & Maidenhead to secure a positive referendum result (91%) for its Neighbourhood Plan, subsequently being incorporated into the Royal Borough’s development plan the following month.
April 2013 Horton and Wraysbury Horton and Wraysbury begin consultation on a Neighbourhood Plan.  They are the first locally to take advantage of the new Localism powers, achieving Neighbourhood Plan Area Designation in January.
January 2013 Parish Council proposal to discontinue the “Neighbourhood Plan” is passed with just one councillor voting to continue the work.
November 2013 Heathrow Villages The Heathrow villages of Harmondsworth, Sipson and Harlington successfully bid for £7,000 of Government funding to set up the Heathrow Villages Forum, a 21-member cross-section of the community that will pursue a Neighbourhood Plan.
November 2012 Parish Council Cllr Hood tells councillors “that to do all the considerable work and necessary expense involved, a referendum etc. then to find it was a waste of money and expense was something he felt unable to recommend.”
February 2012 Finance & Policy Committee Cllr Mike Nye submits a report proposing joining forces with Datchet and Horton on a joint Neighbourhood Plan as district boundaries “were not finite” under the Localism Act.  The report is never shared with residents.
November 2011 Parliament Localism Bill receives Royal Assent.


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