A BLUEPRINT that will help shape a village's future growth and development has come into force.

In a referendum held during the summer, a majority voted in favour of the Harden Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Now the document, which will provide a framework up to 2030, has been formally adopted by Bradford Council.

Its adoption is the final step in a lengthy process for the plan, which has been in preparation since 2017.

The draft document went through two periods of formal consultation ā€“ the first between February and April 2021, and then again from June to August last year.

And earlier this year it underwent an independent examination.

Eventually, in July, it was put to the public vote ā€“ and 87.3 per cent of villagers who took part in the ballot were in favour.

The document now forms part of the overall planning policy framework for the Bradford district.

It will be used by Bradford Council when deciding on planning applications in the Harden area, and developers will be able to refer to it for guidance.

Councillor Kay Kirkham, Harden Village Council vice chair and the lead member on neighbourhood planning, says: "I am very pleased that 87 per cent of the residents who voted in the referendum supported the neighbourhood development plan.

"It has taken over five years to get to this point, but we can now use the plan to make sure that any future development in the village corresponds with what residents want and need."

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, executive member for regeneration, planning and transport at Bradford Council, says: "Harden is the seventh area of the Bradford district to have a neighbourhood development plan formally adopted.

"Iā€™d like to congratulate Harden Village Council on completion of the plan and thank all those who have engaged in the process over the last five years."

Harden's neighbourhood development plan can be viewed on the Bradford Council website at bradford.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/neighbourhood-areas/?Folder=Harden\HardenReg1920

Also, paper copies can be viewed during normal opening hours at Britannia House and City Library in Bradford, and at Bingley Library.

Neighbourhood planning was introduced by the Government within the Localism Act 2011 to give communities in England a number of tools to have more of a say in how their areas develop and change in the future.

Neighbourhood development plans are already in force for Addingham; Burley-in-Wharfedale; Haworth, Cross Roads & Stanbury; Ilkley; Oxenhope, and Steeton-with-Eastburn & Silsden.