Herefordshire encourages communities to create their own Neighbourhood Development Plans (NPDs).

The council spends thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money, and volunteers spend thousands of hours of their own time and expense to produce NDPs.

Credit to the council for supporting this government initiative for residents to have a say in the development of their communities.

However, as one involved in producing an NDP, I was perturbed at the wording in the article by your Local Democracy Reporter (Village split over vision) which suggested NDPs only “give locals a small say in how their areas should be developed”.

It is also concerning when the Hereford Times reports councillor statements that imply that NDPs are no longer relevant or important.

We were encouraged to devise these plans because they had legal status when planning decisions were made.

Producing a NDP requires dedicated volunteers. Is there evidence that the work of these volunteers and the wishes of residents have been ignored because of the council’s shortfall in identifying land for housing across the county?

Only time will tell if NDPs are given the legal weight in planning matters that we were led to believe they would have? Do other readers have experience or views on this?

Tim Hancox