Views sought on proposed neighbourhood plan area for West Bedlington

Plans are underway to develop a neighbourhood plan for West Bedlington Parish.
The first steps have been taken to designate a neighbourhood planning area which will cover the parish of West Bedlington. 
Formal consultation on whether the local community supports this as a suitable area for neighbourhood planning is taking place from Friday 25 March to Monday 25 April 2016.
West Bedlington Parish Council has applied for the area to be designated as the qualifying body for neighbourhood planning purposes.
The parish council feels that it would be appropriate to prepare local planning policies that can address the needs and wishes of the local community.
Neighbourhood planning was introduced through the Localism Act in 2011 and gives local communities the opportunity to shape and define how their area should grow and change in the future.
In Northumberland, neighbourhood planning must be led by parish and town councils, and through the plan they can use powers to shape where new homes, shops, offices and other businesses should be built, and what those new buildings should look like.
Plans must also take into account national planning policy and the policies set out in the Northumberland Local Plan.
Northumberland County Council has a statutory role in neighbourhood planning and it supports groups involved by providing advice on processes to be followed and giving practical and technical support.
Details of the application by West Bedlington Parish Council can be found on Northumberland County Council’s website at  
Those who want to make comments on the proposed neighbourhood area can email or write to the Communities and Infrastructure Team, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth NE61 2EF.
Representations must be received by Northumberland County Council on or before Monday 25 April 2016.
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