Image demonstrating Thirston Neighbourhood Plan is officially 'made' 

Thirston Neighbourhood Plan is officially 'made' 

Residents of Thirston now have more of a say over future development in their parish, following the adoption of a neighbourhood plan for their area. 

The Thirston Neighbourhood Plan will now form part of the statutory development plan for Northumberland, meaning that future planning decisions in the parish will be made in line with policies in them, unless ‘material’ considerations indicate otherwise.  

The Plan passed independent examination in June 2021 and was officially adopted, or ‘made’, at a meeting of Northumberland County Council’s cabinet this week. It will now form a key part of the planning process for this area. 

The Plan was prepared by Thirston Parish Council who were supported throughout the process by the County Council’s Neighbourhood Planning Team. 

It focusses on a range of planning issues identified by the local community. These include:  new housing development, design and development principles, wildlife corridors, local green spaces, tourism accommodation, business and community facilities and future development at the woodland burial site. 

A local referendum held in Thirston parish in September returned a majority vote in favour of using the Plan to make decisions on planning applications. 

Councillor Colin Horncastle, cabinet member for community services at Northumberland County Council, said: "This neighbourhood plan is testament to the hard work of many dedicated people in this community, and I am very pleased to see it come into effect.” 

Simon Allan, Thirston Parish Council Chairman, is delighted that the Neighbourhood Plan has been adopted: “This plan was possible due to the dedicated volunteers of the Working Group; the input from the Thirston Parish community who backed the plan, as they knew the importance of a plan for the parish, and the excellent turnout of electors who voted to adopt the plan.”  

Work is under way on the preparation of neighbourhood plans in over 20 other parishes across Northumberland, while 16 neighbourhood plans are already in place. The Neighbourhood Planning Team continues to provide dedicated help and practical support to all the local parish councils involved in neighbourhood planning. 
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