Alston Moor Partnership

- living and working together in the highest community in England

Our Community Plan

A first Community Plan for Alston Moor was written early in the 21st century.

A new version was prepared in 2011, updated in 2012. We are now on edition No 3!

A third Community Plan is now being worked on.

Our previous community plan reached the end of its five year ‘life’ in 2016, and we (AMP membership) began to think about a new one, fit for the inevitably changed circumstances and with the intention of ensuring that the whole community of Alston Moor can thrive into the foreseeable future. We were very determined it should be a community-led plan and we looked at various interesting approaches to community plans (see links below). We were very fortunate that at the time we started thinking about this, Roe Baker, who had been our Sustainability Officer, and now works for Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS), had obtained funding to develop a ‘Greenprint’ for Alston Moor, looking at environmental sustainability. This obviously dovetails into our overall intention to make Alston Moor sustainable in the widest sense – being able to continue having a good range of shops, community events, clubs and organisation etc. The parish council has also been looking at the possibility of developing a neighbourhood plan, which is a ‘statutory’ plan, in other words it then informs the decisions on planning application.

So while these three things – community plan, Greenprint and neighbourhood plan – are separate, they have links, and each can support the work of the others. The community plan depends ENTIRELY on local people deciding what is needed to ensure Alston Moor remains a good place to live, and being willing to volunteer to do things.

Our first stage was to talk to a wide range of people, from 6 years old to over 90 years old. We thought we could reach them most easily by asking various groups that meet anyway – whether for a social evening, to hear a speaker, to play a sport, to attend a church service, as a school council – to spend 20-30 minutes before or after their usual meeting to talk to us. We asked what they liked about living here, what they didn’t like so much, what might make things worse and what they’d really like to see happen to make things good in the future. We then collated all the responses, to produce our initial report. The most important thing that came out of the conversations was the sense that Alston Moor is a self-reliant and resilient community. This is a great basis for proceeding to our second stage – events and meetings to investigate the key issues identified will be advertised here as soon as they’re finalised, and will be open to anyone living or working on Alston Moor.

Useful links for definition of a community-led plan etc - see the Sustainable Communities Workbook for an interesting approach we looked at

Alston from the air
Download the 1st report on the input into the current Community Plan
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