Just to let you know the RMNF trustees have reviewed all the comments made during the “pre-submission consultation” and our unanimous decision was to make some slight changes and to submit the Plan to the Local Planning Authority (Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council), which has now been done.
During the review it became apparent from some of the comments that a small number of people have misunderstood the role of our forum in planning.
Our forum DOES NOT make planning decisions – This has always been done by the local planning authority – Please see the “Planning Decision Process” map below, which is an existing process; the only difference being that if the Plan is adopted, it would be included in the process.
Our Forum DOES NOT make new legislation. The Plan wording is merely a reflection of the majority view of people in the community. The policies are taken from existing legislation and reflect the communities view in a form of words that are acceptable for the Plan, if adopted, to form part of Rochdale’s Local Plan.
Next Steps. The Plan will now go to the October Township meeting where the Township Committee will either approve or decline having the Local Planning Authority publicise the Plan for another six weeks and arranging an independent examination. It would be great if as many people as possible from our community could attend this meeting and we will let you know the date as soon as it is available. This meeting will also be a great opportunity for people to have their say if they support or object to the Plan.
The examination process is an independent check carried out by an Inspector appointed by government. If certain ‘basic conditions’ are met, the Plan can go to a local ‘Referendum’ for approval. When the referendum takes place, if 50% or more of those who vote support the Plan it can be declared ‘made’ and it becomes part of the statutory Local Plan and will be included for the process of determination for planning applications and appeals in our area.
We hope you agree we are fortunate to have RMNF, a registered charity, focused on benefiting the area in which we live. If the Plan is adopted our forum will be in a great position to consider delivering some of the projects identified in the Plan. A charity is very different from a commercial organisation, all trustee time and effort is given for free, no trustee should have any personal gain from forum activities and members of the forum, YOU, are best place to direct forum activities by telling us what is important to the majority of people in the area.
Another great benefit of the forum is that we are a consultee to planning applications in, or affecting our area. This doesn’t stop individuals making their own representations in the usual manner and where an application is outside the scope of our neighbourhood plan (if adopted), forum trustees are able to arrange meetings to seek the views of the community and feed that information back through the consultation process. The forum is also able to seek expert advice on particular matters.
We hope you support our neighbourhood forum and Plan and we look forward to seeing you at our next AGM that will be in late August or early September, we’ll let you know the date soon as it is available.
Copies of the submitted plan and consultation statement can be found on the home page of our website.
Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum Trustees