Thank you for your Feedback on the Draft Vision and Objectives

The Steering Group is grateful to all those who attended the drop in sessions and also to those who completed the online consultation. You can find an electronic copy of that draft, as well as copies of the survey results and questionnaires, on the Your Say page. Your comments helped shape and finalise the vision and objectives.

Our chosen planning consultant is now reviewing the draft Plan

The Steering Group have engaged a local planning consultant to advise on the draft plan and the policies that it contains, ensuring that all relevant criteria and legislation are fully met. We have also obtained a Government Grant to cover the consultancy fees.

After many months of hard work by the Steering Group & volunteers, and valuable input from residents, the first draft of the Preston Neighbourhood Plan has been produced and sent to the planning consultant. We are now working on the supporting documents while we wait for feedback from the consultant. The supporting documents detail the evidence base and how we arrived at the draft plan.

Progress and Next Steps

The Neighbourhood Plan will describe our shared vision of what is important to us and how we want the Parish to develop over the next 14 years. The plan must have appropriate regard to national policy and conform to the strategic elements of the local plan. It must be compatible with EU obligations and the planning consultant will advise us on a Strategic Environmental Assessment. Needless to say it must also be based on up to date and robust evidence.

Once the draft Plan is complete we will move into the pre-submission stage, known as Regulation 14, which commences with a statutory 6 week consultation period. During this time we will be consulting with all residents and also with the District Council, neighbouring parishes and other interested parties. Look out for details of the next consultation sessions, which are likely to be held early in the New Year.


  • Stage 1 –
    • Define the Neighbourhood Plan area
    • Determine if the parishioners would like a Neighbourhood Plan for Preston
  • Stage 2 –
    • Survey – consult residents about their wishes for the parish
    • Obtain grants towards costs of survey and publicity
    • Analyse and present survey results
    • Gather other information
    • Define the objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan
    • Engage volunteers for specific projects
    • Draft Plan based on objectives

In Progress – now to early 2018

  • Stage 3
    • Consult residents on Draft Objectives
    • Review and refine objectives and draft plan, incorporating comments on objectives
      • Draft Plan
      • Appendices
      • Basic Conditions Statement
      • Consultation Statement
    • Select independent Consultant to advise on the draft plan and to ensure that all relevant criteria and legislation are fully met
    • Obtain grant towards cost of professional help
    • Engage independent Consultant
    • Work with consultant to finalise draft plan for Regulation 14
    • Informal consultation (Regulation 14)

Planned 2018

  • Stage 4 – Conduct formal round of public consultation (Regulation 16)
  • Stage 5 – Examination of the Neighbourhood Plan by an independent examiner – to ensure it meets all statutory obligations.
  • Stage 6 – Referendum conducted by North Herts District Council – assuming the examiner recommends that our draft plan can proceed.

Stages 4 to 6 are organised and paid for by North Herts District Council.

For a fuller description of the stages in producing the plan please visit the Our Future page.

How it all began

Our Parliament passed the Localism Act in 2012. This new Act gives all communities, for the first time ever, the legal right and opportunity to prepare their own Neighbourhood Plan. Such a plan sets out policies to guide development and the use of land in a parish or a neighbourhood. Once approved by NHDC, the plan becomes part of the statutory planning process.

At a public meeting, in our Village Hall on 26th June 2016, a large majority of the 35 residents attending voted in favour of producing a Neighbourhood Plan for this parish. Some residents volunteered to form the Steering Group, and to be responsible for producing the plan. Others have volunteered to be involved in different ways.

This is our parish – we are concerned about our future – we want everyone in the parish to have their say to help shape that future.