NEW powers being introduced by central Government aim to make it "quicker and easier" for other areas to follow Chaddesley Corbett's lead in creating their own neighbourhood plan.

Neighbourhood Plans are part of a package of measures introduced last year to allow communities to have more say in the development that takes place in their area by setting out policies to guide development.

This week, Brandon Lewis, Housing and Planning Minister, announced measures are being put in place to decrease the number of weeks it takes to agree an area for a plan to cover.

Currently, it takes an average of 19 weeks, but Mr Lewis said the new powers will encourage even more communities to have a greater say over the future development of their area.

"We're seeing a genuine neighbourhood planning movement with communities in almost two-thirds of local authorities already using these powers to shape what gets built where in their local area," he said.

"Now I want to go further and see more communities making the most of the powers we've put in their hands.

"The measures will speed up the process, making it quicker and easier to get a neighbourhood plan together so that the views of local people are written clearly in black and white for developers and councils to see, and ensure that future development in those areas delivers the homes communities themselves want to see."

In September 2014, residents of Chaddesley Corbett voted "overwhelmingly" for its neighbourhood plan – the first in Worcestershire – to be passed.

Prepared by the parish council, alongside Wyre Forest District Council, the village's plan allocated the former school site for a mix of uses including housing to meet local needs, open space and an extension to the burial ground, and also safeguarded the old Grammar School building for community uses.

The district council is encouraging other communities of Wyre Forest to follow Chaddesley Corbett in creating a plan for their area.

Churchill and Blakedown Parish Council is currently undergoing a six week consultation on its neighbourhood plan application.

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