AFTER eight years of hard work, the people of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury will receive an extra choice when voting on May 6.

In addition to all the Bradford Council candidates – plus a new kind of mayor – there will be one extra, just for the people of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury, who are being asked to vote for their new Neighbourhood Plan.

For the first time, Government has given communities the power to produce a Neighbourhood Plan which, once adopted, carries real legal weight in the planning system. It doesn’t mean they are all-powerful; the plan cannot dictate housing numbers, or dispute the sites on which houses are built – that’s down to Bradford. But what it can and does do is to set out strict rules on what sort of housing can be built – in line with the recent housing needs survey, completed by the people who live in the three villages.

The plan has been devised by a joint committee of local parish councillors and members of the public, who have come together to give their community a proper voice in the future development of where they live.

The Neighbourhood Plan recognises what is special about Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury – whether it is the green environment or local heritage – and looks to protect all of this and improve on it wherever possible. The plan also works for all three villages by protecting existing and encouraging new and improved community facilities; and promoting walking, cycling and public transport, whilst also addressing the huge challenges of traffic congestion and parking.

In developing the plan, the community has been involved from day one, with public drop-in events, consultations, questionnaires and newsletters. It has been checked at every step of the way. Approved first by responses from the people of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury, then by Bradford Council, to see that it meets their laws and also by an independent approved examiner to confirm it meets national planning law.

It now faces its final and greatest test. It goes back to the voters of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury on May 6, who will have a once-in-a-lifetime 'yes' or 'no' opportunity to vote on whether to adopt the plan.

If the vote is yes, it will become part of planning law and help to give its people a new level of control over the future of the three villages.

You can view the plan by going to

Peter Hill, Neighbourhood Development Plan steering group

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