Eccleshall Neighborhood Plan was adopted by the Borough Council in July 2016, after a referendum held in May 2016.
The Neighbourhood Plan was prepared for the Parish Council by a Steering Group comprising parish councillors and other individuals who were interested in shaping the future of the town or representing their own organisation. The plan will be periodically reviewed in line with the Stafford Borough Council and National Policy guidelines.
The Eccleshall Neighbourhood Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework, which covers the whole of the country, together with The Plan for Stafford Borough are documents which lay down a set of guide lines and principles which are the basis by which planning applications are determined. The Plan for Stafford Borough, also known as the Local Plan, which was adopted by the Borough Council in June 2014, sets out a development strategy covering various topics such as developing the economy and infrastructure as well as transport, community and environmental issues within the area of the Borough Council. It identifies sites for development in both Stafford and Stone and also in 11 settlements within the Borough described as a Key Service Villages capable of additional development. The Local Plan also allows for the expansion of Raleigh Hall, an industrial estate near Eccleshall, by an additional 4 hectares of industrial development land.
The town of Eccleshall is included as a Key Service Village (KSV) with potential for further development sustained by the existing local facilities. This is the only KSV within the Parish of Eccleshall, the others in the Borough being Gnosall, Haughton, Hixon, Great Haywood, Little Haywood and Colwich, Weston, Woodseaves, Barlaston, Tittensor and Yarnfield.
The Eccleshall Neighbourhood Plan seeks to promote and allow development within the parish area in accordance with the Local Plan to suit the needs and aspirations of the present and future community in a way which is sensitive and sympathetic to the character of the area as it has evolved to the present day and to ensure that this development is sustainable in the context of existing infrastructure and services.
The centre of the town will be prioritised as a thriving area for local shops, services and community infrastructure, whilst sustaining local businesses and improving local facilities.
The Neighbourhood Plan also establishes a Settlement Boundary, revised from the former Rural Development Boundary, within which additional development, including housing, may be acceptable providing it accords with all the other relevant policies. This is to comply with the Local Plan which requires such a boundary to be drawn around each KSV, to be established by either a Neighbourhood Plan or a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment prepared by the Borough Council.Future growth outside the Settlement Boundary will not be supported by the community.
The Eccleshall Neighbourhood Plan also deals with the type and density of housing development and future open space, together with policies designed to address traffic, car parking and employment. The Plan also contains some of the aspirations of the community in an attempt to enhance and preserve the character of the town and the wider Parish.