The first key decision we have to make is about the shape of our Neighbourhood Plan area.  This is important because it will determine who and what we have to collect information about, and who and what we have to consider when we write our final Neighbourhood Plan policies.
The Neighbourhood Plan Group has talked about the options, and we would really like to know what you think about them too.  Your views - along with any outside advice on boundary implications - will be considered together and the Group will make a recommendation to the Parish Council, who will then take the final decision. 
After this the Parish Council will send a map showing the chosen boundary, along with a statement giving the reasons for our choice, to the Council.  This will notify them and kick-start the formal Neighbourhood Planning timetable.

The Neighbourhood Plan Group considered 3 main options, but discounted the first of these.

Discounted Option: a wider ‘natural’ geographical boundary (eg  a boundary that covers all of the surrounding fells)

The Group discounted this option because ...

Ø  Defining new boundaries is very subjective – how can we know which area people think they ‘belong’ to without further research?

Ø  A new boundary would not be ‘recognised’ by others.  Because of this it would be hard to get other data for the new area, and re-cutting data to a new boundary is expensive.

Ø  And finally, including land from other parishes could create problems for them if they wanted to do their own Neighbourhood Plan.  This is because land can only be included once, in one Neighbourhood Plan.

This left the following two options, which are also shown on the local area map for your consideration ...

Option 1: the existing parish boundary

Ø  Using the existing parish boundary is the default and, therefore, the simplest option under the Neighbourhood Planning regulations.

Ø  Other organisations recognise parish boundaries, and it is easier to find additional data that is or can be cut to this level.

Ø  The Parish Council is the ’responsible body’ in charge of Neighbourhood Planning here, and will be helping to fund the production of the Plan in part.  Because of this it may be more ‘democratic’ to include all parish households in the Plan area and in the community survey.

Ø  Maximising the number of households included will mean around 25% higher survey costs, and more complex survey arrangements.

Ø  If other parishes decide to do Neighbourhood Planning, there may be an opportunity to put the Plans together to produce a ‘bigger picture’ of rural housing needs.

Option 2: a smaller boundary, drawn just around the village and its surrounding fields

Ø  We would have to justify the selection of this new boundary, with reference to physical features on the ground, and explain to the Council why the parish boundary has not been used.

Ø  Again, a new boundary means that other data will not be available or cannot easily be cut to meet it.

Ø  Survey costs are reduced by about 25%, and survey arrangements are simpler.

Ø  This boundary may arguably produce a closer focus on the village (depending on final survey results)

Ø  However the Parish Council would need to accept excluding some local households (who may not be considered therefore under any Neighbourhood Plan).

Ø  And we may have to justify (eg at Examination) why ‘outlying’ parish business and housing needs have not been incorporated.

The Boundary Maps are on Display in The Meeting Room at Wray Institute and are also listed on the blog under Boundary Map Option 1 and Option 

On the map, the blue line shows the boundary for the Parish of Wray with Botton.

The yellow line shows a tighter boundary drawn around Wray village, with reference to key physical features.

Now, using the questions on the back of your letter, please tell us which          boundary option you prefer, and post you letter back to us at the Institute or at the Post Office. 

If there is a different, alternative boundary you think should be considered, please tell us about it.

Thank you.

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