A Neighbourhood Plan is the only statutory opportunity for parish councils to ensure its parishioners voices and views are heard when it comes to major planning decisions. This is why nearly every parish and town in County Durham is undertaking their own Neighbourhood Plan including all of our neighbouring parishes. Without a Neighbourhood Plan Gainford and Langton would have no opportunity to make its voice heard against major housebuilders and developers planning insensitive developments. This could also mean, as the only parish in the area not to have a plan, that we could be very attractive to developments other nearby villages rebutted.
Have a Voice
Therefore the Parish Council believes it is essential for us to ensure that you have a voice and that we can preserve the very qualities of our parish that make it such an attractive place to live.
Enhance not Undermine
It also allows us to build on the 2008 local plan and put in place a plan for the next 15 years which will ensure that the next generation benefit from inheriting a beautiful, vibrant parish and that we retain and enhance all aspects of our village life. Central to this is ensuring our village is sustainable so we do recognise the need for small, evolutionary piecemeal housing as we have had in the last 20 years. However we believe this needs to be in the right place, be the right type, and enhance not undermine the character of the village. It also needs to address any housing issues that may be identified by our research such as, for example, lack of suitable housing for an ageing population.