Q&A

What is MRC?

The MRC is a Neighbourhood Forum, a community group specifically set up to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan.

Who can join MRC?

Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Malden Rushett. There is no annual membership fee.

Why has MRC been set up?

The planning system is currently undergoing reform and communities are being given a greater say in their futures.

Communities can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan, a set of policies for their area that are incorporated into the Local Plan. These policies determine how developers interpret local strategic policies and carry statutory weight.

Why can't this be done by the Residents Association?

A Neighbourhood Plan can only be prepared by a Neighbourhood Forum, a new type of community group with a specific constitution.

The MRRA's constitution does not meet the necessary criteria to allow the MRRA to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan.

Why is this happening now?

The London Plan and the Local Plan are currently being re-written. It is expected that both will be in place by 2020.

A Neighbourhood Plan takes around two years to complete and ours will need to be ready for adoption as the same time as the Local Plan.

What can we achieve by writing a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Plan can contain policies that will protect the character of Malden Rushett. These policies will ensure that any future development meets certain criteria agreed by the community.

How are decisions made?

The Management Committee and its working teams will seek solutions to proposals from members and will present members with a range of appropriate options. Members will then decide by a majority vote which to adopt.

What happened to the Community Land Trust?

A Community Land Trust is a suitable community organisation to deliver a Community Right to Build Order (CRtBO). Malden Rushett CLT has been put on "the back burner" until such a time that the community decides it requires a CRtBO in its plan.

The CLT would also provide a mechanism for the community to purchase sites, a facility that some residents have requested.

What can I do as a member?

Members are entitled to vote on any proposal put forward.

Members can assist with finding solutions to issues raised by joining one of the teams. It is anticipated that the majority of this work will be conducted online, thereby allowing as many members as possible to be involved with the process at a time that is convenient for them.

Members can stand for the committee which will oversee the whole process.

Is it worth the effort?

The changes in the Localism Act 2011 and The Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 are designed to allow communities to have a greater say as to what development happens in their area.

Further changes in July 2018 boosted the status of Neighbourhood Planning in the planning framework as well as granting communities additional powers.

Whilst there are some limitations (for example no Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plan can opt out of growth), in writing a Neighbourhood Plan for Malden Rushett we will be able to exercise a degree of control over the future of our area.

Can our policies be overruled?

Our policies, provided they are compliant with the policies in the London Plan and the Local Plan, will carry statutory weight. Should a developer choose to appeal, the final arbiter is the Secretary of State who, since 2012 has sided with the local community on the majority of occasions.

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