CALL TO ACTION: Developing a Neighbourhood Plan for St. John’s Wood

The next responsibility of the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum (SJWNF) will be to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for St. John’s Wood. This process commenced in the last General Meeting where Members identified issues they felt were important for consideration in our Neighbourhood Plan. A link to this output below. The input naturally fell into a number of key topics which could form the basis of structuring A Neighbourhood Plan for St. John’s Wood.

It is important that Members and the wider community understand the purpose of a neighbourhood plan (and, more importantly, what it’s not) and the activities involved. You will find links on this website to key documents which will help you learn more about neighbourhood planning and the process entailed.

The first step of this process will be to develop a Vision and Objectives for our Neighbourhood Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan’s Vision will be our statement of “what we want our Neighbourhood Area to be like as a result of the planning policies we develop”. The Plan’s Vision is an extension of the Forum’s Vision which we recently adopted into more detail about what we want for St. John’s Wood. The Plan’s Objectives will be “broad statements of intent on how we intend to deliver the Vision”. Once these have been developed and accepted by the Forum Members, the next step will be to conduct workshops (led by our Steering Committee) to develop proposed policies and the substantiating evidence upon which we can write our Neighbourhood Plan for St. John’s Wood. The proposed Neighbourhood Plan will then undergo an extensive Member and public consultation. Once our Members are convinced that we have a proposed Neighbourhood Plan that reflects the interests of all constituents, and that we have the evidence base established to back our proposals, we will submit our plan to Westminster City Council (WCC). WCC will organize an independent examination of our proposed Neighbourhood Plan followed by a public consultation and referendum which will require 50% acceptance by our community in order to be enacted.

This process will take at least a year to a year and a half to complete. It’s not going to be an easy task and will require as much engagement and participation from our Members and the wider community as we can muster. The more involvement we have from Members the more credible our Neighbourhood Plan will be. We encourage everyone to think about how you may be able to contribute to the hard work that will be needed to make our Neighbourhood Plan a reality.

To this end, it is requested that everyone with an interest provide their input to our Vision and Objectives. To do this, please send an email to chairman@sjwnf.org.uk to provide your thoughts on the following questions:

• What do you want our Neighbourhood Area to look like as a result of our Neighbourhood Plan?
• What issues do you believe we need to consider and include as planning policies in our Neighbourhood Plan?
• Why (e.g., with what evidence?) do you make these comments? This, by the way, is very important to our convincing WCC of the validity of our Neighbourhood Plan.
• Would you be willing to invest your time and energy to participate in a sub-committee to develop a particular aspect of our Neighbourhood Plan? If so, in any particular area?

Please provide this input by 11 March 2017. The SJWNF Steering Committee will then consider this input and develop a draft Vision and Objectives which will form the initial consultation in our process.

The 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the SJWNF will be scheduled some time in April. The 2017 AGM we will also be putting forward a vote for re-election of our Steering Committee and Officers for the next year. Please provide any comment or nominations to chairman@sjwnf.org.uk. Your thoughts and input will be greatly appreciated.

Neighbourhood Plan Ideas from General Meeting No. 2

The Vision Statement of the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum

The Steering Committee of the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum, after extensive consultation and as authorised by Forum members in our General Meeting held on 5th October, 2016, has unanimously approved the following Vision Statement for the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum:

Vision Statement of the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum

The vision of the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum is to use our rights under the Localism Act 2011 to endeavour to ensure St. John’s Wood retains its unique garden suburb characteristics and embraces future development in a way that preserves the integrity of the St. John’s Wood Conservation Area and enhances the community’s amenities. To achieve this, we will develop and administer, through robust consultation with the local community, a Neighbourhood Plan for St. John’s Wood that:

• Encourages responsible and sustainable development of high quality architectural design and merit;

• Maintains respect for the community’s diverse architectural heritage and seeks to preserve all buildings of townscape merit and assets of community value;

• Protects and enhances the public realm including all green spaces and important local views;

• Seeks to build upon the community’s quality of life and the health of all residents;

• Promotes the continued and broadened well-being of its local businesses; and

• Remains aligned with the strategic planning policies of Westminster City Council.

This vision statement will guide the activities of the Forum and form the basis for establishing a more detailed Vision and Objectives Statement as part of our Neighbourhood Plan for St. John’s Wood.

Meet the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum Steering Committee

The Constitution of the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum calls for the annual election of Officers and a Steering Committee to help lead the Forum’s activities. Our current Steering Committee was elected in our first Annual General Meeting in 2016. The term of each Officer and member of the Steering Committee is one year, so these positions will be up for re-election in our first General Meeting of 2017 which we expect to hold sometime in the spring. A like to short biographies of our Officers and Steering Committee members follows.

steering-committee-biographies

Who Votes in a Referendum?

In our last general meeting, a question was asked of our guest speaker Rachael Ferry-Jones, about who would be entitled to vote on the adoption of our Neighbourhood Plan for St. John’s Wood once we have submitted it to Westminster City Council and they have completed their review and an independent examination of our proposed plan. Rachael has kindly extracted the relevant government guidance which confirms that in a residential neighbourhood forum it is those members of the neighbourhood area who are able to vote in a local election and live in the area who will be entitled to vote on our proposed neighbourhood plan.

Paragraph 062 Reference ID: 41-062-20110306

Who votes in a referendum?

A person is entitled to vote if at the time of the referendum, they meet the eligibility criteria to vote in a local election for the area and if they live in the referendum area.

In a ‘designated business area’ (see section 61H of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Act as amended) both residents and non-domestic rate payers get an opportunity to vote in referendums on whether the neighbourhood plan or Order should come into legal force (see paragraphs 12(4) and 15 of Schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) and Schedules 6 to 8 of Neighbourhood planning (Referendums) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (as amended).

Revision date 06 03 2014

Final Consultation on a Vision Statement for the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum

Since July, forum members have been discussing and reviewing a draft Vision Statement for the St. John’s Woods Neighbourhood Forum. A final draft of the Vision Statement is now available for public comment. Anyone who has comments about the draft Vision Statement are welcome to send your comments to chairman@sjwnf.org.uk. The SJWNF Steering Committee will be meeting on 8th November to consider all final comments and vote to adopt a Vision Statement for the St. John’s Woods Neighbourhood Forum. Thank you in advance for your comments.

third-revised-draft-vision-statement-for-member-consultation

Second General Meeting of SJWNF Held

The second general meeting of the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum was convened on 5th October at QK Academy with approximately 72 members in attendance. The agenda included a robust discussion about the proposed Vision Statement for the Forum and discussions around the next steps in developing a Neighbourhood Plan for St. John’s Wood. An informative presentation on neighbourhood planning was made by Rachael Ferry-Jones. Her presentation was previously posted on this website. Key next steps for the SJWNF are to take our proposed vision statement through one more round of member consultation prior to adoption and to start developing the outline content for our Neighbourhood Plan. A list of ideas for themes that should be considered as part of our Neighbourhood Plan was generated by members after our meeting. The Minutes of General Meeting No. 2, as well as the list of ideas put forth, can be found in the “About” section of this website under “Minutes and Reports”.

A Presentation on Neighbourhood Planning

The second general meeting of the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum was held on 5th October at QK Academy. We were fortunate to have a representative of Westminster City Council, Rachael Ferry-Jones come to deliver a presentation about neighbourhood planning. It was very informative and for those interested parties who were unable to make our general meeting a copy of her presentation is provided below. More about the outcomes of our second general meeting to follow.

sjwf-5-october-2016

What Does Neighbourhood Planning Look Like?

As we embark upon our journey to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for St. John’s Wood, two things will be important. First is that our membership is as educated as it can be in Neighbourhood Planning. Hence our next General Meeting will include a presentation from a representative of Westminster City Council to outline the council’s views on neighbourhood planning. Second is that we need to learn from those who have gone before us. To this end, I would point everyone to the Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Forum website (www.knightsbridgeforum.org). The Planning page of their website holds great examples of what we are about to do with respect to a Vision for our Neighbourhood Plan, the accumulation of an evidence base and a way in which to structure the content of a Neighbourhood Plan. Everyone is encouraged to consult this before our next General Meeting on 5th October.

SJWNF General Meeting CHANGE OF DATE TO 5 OCTOBER

Please be advised that the date of our next general meeting has been changed from 4th October to 5th October at 18:30 in Quintin Kynaston School. We hope this date allows a better representation of our constituency to attend. Apologies for any inconvenience.

SJWNF General Meeting – HOLD THE DATE 4 OCTOBER 2016

The next general meeting of the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum will be held at 18:30 at Quintin Kynaston School on 4 October 2016. The agenda for this meeting will include a vote by members to adopt a Vision Statement for the St. John’s Wood Neighbourhood Forum, a presentation by a representative from Westminster City Council on Neighbourhood Planning, and a presentation of an outline plan for developing a Neighbourhood Plan for St. John’s Wood. Any resident or representatives of businesses or other civic organisations in St. John’s Wood are welcome to attend and take part in the next stage of our journey.