Earley Town Council is investigating the benefits of Earley having its own Neighbourhood Plan, such a plan would become part of the planning system, and maybe used to determine whether planning permission is granted and if so under what conditions.
In theory such a plan may enable Earley as a community to decide where new homes, shops or offices should be built, determine what they should look like, and feasibly, be used to grant planning permission for new buildings we as a community want to see get built.
However, in truth, much of Earley has already been developed and many residents ( and indeed Earley Liberal Democrats ) would like to see our open space protected and it's uncertain as to whether a Neighbourhood Plan could be used to prevent land from unwanted development; also, any plan is unlikely to be accepted by our local planning authority (Wokingham Borough Council) if it does not conform to its own strategic vision.
For the moment the big question for Councillors is would it be worth the time, money and effort required to produce a plan?
At an estimated cost of £15k to £20k the project may be considered too expensive, but there are grants on offer from central Government, and there would be merit in discussing the future of Earley, especially considering there have been rumours and on going back room discussions for 10+ years on whether or not Earley needs a heart, its own Town Centre.
We would, as always, welcome your comments and thoughts.