The Langham Neighbourhood Plan becomes our only defence against unregulated development.

This is taken from the Rutland County Council website, dated 3rd September 2021.

Councillors have voted to withdraw Rutland’s Submitted Local Plan from examination.

This decision was taken at a Special Full Council meeting on Wednesday 1 September, after Councillors voted not to revisit a previous decision made in March to reject a Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) grant of £29.4million – funding needed to support the development of a new garden community at St George’s Barracks.

Proposals for a St George’s garden community were included in the Draft Local Plan on the basis that Rutland had been awarded a HIF grant by Homes England. The Draft Local Plan was approved by Councillors in February 2020 and submitted for examination in February 2021, following a final round of statutory consultation. Councillors subsequently voted not to accept HIF funding for St George’s in March 2021. It has since been confirmed that no alternative source of funding is available.

In the absence of major funding for critical infrastructure, current St George’s garden community proposals are not viable. This in turn undermines the viability and soundness of the wider Local Plan. All Local Planning Authorities must have a valid Local Plan that sets out where future housing, employment and other development will take place over a period of at least 15 years. There is an expectation from Government that up-to-date plans should be in place by December 2023.

The decision to withdraw the Local Plan means work must now begin on a new Plan. It is anticipated this will take around four years to prepare. Councillors also voted to set aside almost £1.4million to cover the cost of making a new Plan and operating without one during this period. Work on a new Local Plan for Rutland will begin as quickly as possible. The Council will confirm the steps that need to be undertaken, as well as indicative timescales, in due course.

Rutland will not have an up-to-date policy framework to meet its housing and development needs while a new Local Plan is being prepared. The absence of a valid Local Plan will also impact Rutland’s five-year housing supply and make the county more susceptible to speculative, unplanned development. 

“I am disappointed with the decision to withdraw the Local Plan, in light of the wider implications for our county. However, I am committed to working with all Councillors to deliver a new Local Plan that allows Rutland to make the best of future housing and development opportunities. We need to protect what is unique and special about our county while meeting the needs of families, businesses and young people. The decision to withdraw the existing Local Plan is not without serious risks, which were made very clear to all Councillors. Our full focus must now be on working together to manage these risks and preparing a new Plan as quickly as possible.”  

Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council

This means that Langham’s only protection against unregulated development for the next few years is the Langham Neighbourhood Plan (LNP).

Our Plan is 5 years old next year and at this time, by law, we must review it. We started work on the review late last year knowing it can take 2-3 years to complete, but without a new RCC Local Plan in place this has now become urgent.

As a consequence of this decision by RCC, for the next few years whilst they develop a new Local Plan, the only defence we have against uncontrolled development is our Neighbourhood Plan. So me must push to accelerate the review with the aim of having it ‘made’ by late 2022 – an absolutely mammoth task. But doable if we all rally.

So we are looking to you all for help.

First, please attend the Community Consultation meetings either on September 26th 2-5pm at the Village Hall, or on October 3rd, 3-5.30pm. If you can’t make either of those our back-up is a Questionnaire on the website, available between 26/9 an 3/10.

Also, if you feel you can offer practical help contact one of the steering group below. We would welcome

  • proof readers;
  • keen photographers to take or supply new images
  • people to help organise and publicise other consultation meetings
  • researchers to double check some of our facts;
  • people good at computers who can help write and format the document.

But most of all we need you to comment on the drafts of the new document by attending all Consultation Meetings in the Village hall (or responding via the website) so that the final version truly reflects your views

We will do our best to get this done quickly and with your help we might just manage it. Thanks from the six of us on the Steering Group.

Pat Ovington

Jennifer Maskell

Gail Palmer

Penny Viner

Alex Marshall

Tim Maskell