BRNF Constitution

1. Objectives

The Byfleet Residents Neighbourhood Forum (‘BF’) is a neighbourhood forum as defined in the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by the Localism Act 2011 (‘the Act’). 

The purpose of the BF is to produce a Neighbourhood Plan in order to promote and improve the social, economic and environmental well being of Byfleet residents with particular regard to the Green Belt within the village of Byfleet. The Byfleet Village Ward boundary will act as the Area under the provisions of the Act. 

The Forum may initiate Neighbourhood Development Orders or Community Right to Build Orders, identify Assets of Community Value and carry out any other permitted actions. 

2. Membership 

Membership of the Forum will be open to residents aged 18 or over who reside or are employed in the Area, are elected councillors for the Area or who have been invited to join the Forum by a majority vote of the Forum’s committee. 

The Forum will aim for as wide a representation of residents as possible with respect to age, sex and location within the Area and include employees and employers of local businesses. 

A Youth Forum for residents aged 14 to 18 will be encouraged as a group working with the main committee. 

3. Committee 

The committee will consist of up to 17 voting members who will meet on a regular basis to oversee the work of the Forum, carry out the day-to-day work of the committee and keep all members informed. The quorum for a committee meeting will be 8. 

The committee will elect a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer plus a deputy for each post. The election or removal of a committee member or the named posts of Chair etc will be by a majority vote of committee members or at an AGM. The Chair or acting Chair will have the casting vote in any committee meeting. 

Additional non-voting members may be co-opted onto the committee and will include elected councillors within the Area. Subcommittees or working parties may also be appointed by the Committee to carry out specific tasks, to consider policies and to advise the Committee. Such bodies may be appointed from within or outside the membership of the Forum but will be responsible to the Committee. 

4. Finance 

The Forum will have the power to raise funds as necessary for its activities, by grant, donation or any other appropriate means. The Committee will open a bank account if necessary in the name of the Forum and all funds raised for the Forum will be held in such accounts. The Committee will nominate bank signatories. 

The Committee will where necessary insure any assets it holds and indemnifies its officers against liabilities arising from their work for the Forum. 

Subject to sufficient funding, the Committee may commission advisory services, surveys or any other activity in support of the Objectives. 

5. Neighbourhood Development Plan 

The Byfleet Residents Neighbourhood Plan (BRNP) will set out policies for the development and use of land within the Area. As provided for in the Act, it will be subject to extensive consultation and examination, including where appropriate a referendum within the Area. 

The BRNP will include, if appropriate, specific policies for identified parts of the Area, including conservation policies. In a Conservation Area, conservation policies will be agreed with the relevant CAAC. 

The BRNP will aim to: 

  • complement the Local Development Frameworks and Conservation Area Appraisals as produced by the relevant Planning Authorities to ensure that all development is sympathetic to the character of the Area 
  • identify locations for potential sensitive development that will, within the Local Development Frameworks, include affordable housing, retail, business and community use 
  • express aspirations for the future development of traffic and transport serving or passing through the Area 
  • provide for the preservation and improvement of private and public open space 
  • nominate Assets of Community Value for listing by the appropriate local authority 
  • set a framework for the retail and business improvement of the Area 
  • guide the Planning and Highway Authorities towards improvements in the public realm 
  • pay due attention to sustainability and carbon reduction 
  • pay due attention to the surface and underground water environment, flood and pollution risks and soil stability  

The BRNP will include policies aimed at generating employment in the Area and promoting business activity, including retail. It will aim to promote a good range of shops in the community with particular emphasis on encouraging smaller enterprises. 

6. General Policies and Principles 

BF will take the distinctive character and heritage of Byfleet into account in all its actions, and will aim to ensure that all development in the Area preserves or enhances this character. 

BF will aim to promote Byfleet as a vibrant business and residential community with an improved public realm. 

BF will aim for improvements in the local environment including those directed towards carbon reduction. 

BF will generally support actions aimed at generating employment in the Area. 

BF will promote policies to maximise social benefit, community links, services for young people, crime reduction and support for elderly and vulnerable members of the community. 

BF will operate respecting all differences including gender, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability and income. 

BF will encourage all interested residents and all representative groupings of residents or businesses in the Area to become members of BF and to work alongside BF to further their joint objectives. 

7. Amendments and Dissolution 

Amendments to the body of this Constitution will be by a two-thirds majority of the committee or members at a General Meeting. 

BRNF may be dissolved by decision of a General Meeting specifically called for this purpose and if supported by 75% or more of those voting.

In the event of dissolution, any property or funds held by BF will be subject to the agreement of the Members at General Meeting, allocated to one or more nominated organisations set up to continue the work of BF, or in the absence of any such organisation and subject to any statutory regulations, distributed equally to the constituent local organisations who are its members (but not to individual members). 

In accordance with the Act, a formal review of the functions and achievements of BF will be carried out five years after its formation. Following such review, and consultation with its members, BF will decide to continue, amend or dissolve itself as considered appropriate.

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