rory hails cumbria taking the national lead
Just before midnight, on Thursday the 7th March, the residents of Upper Eden voted 90% in favor of their own neighbourhood plan. This is the first such referendum in the country, and it’s the largest. The process, which was driven by Tom Woof, and the community of Upper Eden, caught the imagination of the nation. Rory has been involved in supporting the plan for over two years, and has brought numerous officials and Minsters up from London, including two visits last month from planning minister Nick Boles. These visits and this support were in order to ensure that Upper Eden was the first such referendum in the country. Speaking at midnight at the referendum count, in the Brough Village Hall, Rory said:
“This is the most wonderful news. Upper Eden should be so proud of what they’ve achieved. Tom Woof, Alex Birtles, Libby Bateman, Pat Jones and many others in Upper Eden have worked hard to make this a success. And it’s been great that Eden District Council leader Gordon Nicholson and Councillor Malcolm Smith were able to provide vital support. It was wonderful to see them all there on this very special evening.”
“This is the latest in a string of firsts for Cumbria. In the last two years we’ve been the first Big Society pilot, the first national broadband pilot and we’ve built a unique affordable housing scheme in Crosby Ravensworth. But this is the most ambitious project to date. By giving planning power to local parishes, it delivers something fundamental; the ability to shape your home environment. It is the key to affordable housing, to the next generation of farming, to small businesses, and to preserving the beauty of an area we all love. I couldn’t be more happy.”
Rory has asked any other parishes that are interested in developing their own neighborhood plan to get in touch with his office.