Neighbourhood development plans and why we need one

If you’ve been reading any local news about the Third Thames Bridge, Gladman Developments or other threatening schemes, you might be forgiven for thinking the parish of Eye & Dunsden is under constant attack.

Greedy developers, land grabbing Reading, gravel extraction that may worsen flooding and a potential new Thames crossing with a motorway-style link road all contribute to the feeling of powerlessness in the face of corporate power and indifferent local authorities based in distant Oxford and Didcot.

But there is something local communities can do to assert what development they consider is acceptable. By making a Neighbourhood Development Plan places like ours can tell the planners exactly where they think new development should or shouldn’t go. The process splits into various clear stages and relies on proving the plan has strong support from within the community. It requires a team of enthusiastic volunteers, including both members of the parish council and people from the villages concerned (in our parish these are Dunsden, Littlestead Green, Playhatch and Sonning Eye).

Professional help is available with things like landscape assessments and so too are grants of around £9,000, but first we need a group of at least a dozen people to commit to the process. Around ten have already expressed an interest. Will you consider joining us? We are holding an introductory meeting, with some expert guest speakers, in the village hall at Dunsden at 7.30pm on Tuesday October 3rd. Please give up an hour to find out more.

We will shortly be launching a separate website to launch the scheme, but in the meanwhile If you want to find out more please email Ian Dick: plan@eyedunsden.org

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