Why a Neighbourhood Plan now?
For 7-8 years now the Government has been trying to persuade local governing bodies to create a Neighbourhood Planning document that would define how the local community would like to see developments managed in their area. Chelmondiston PC did consider this but the cost at that time was thought to be too high (particularly due to the need for a local referendum and formal inspection), and instead it was decided to create a Village Development Framework (VDF) document, which Babergh promised would be officially incorporated into the Planning documentation suite. In 2016 the VDF was completed, and 2017 was spent trying to get BDC to adopt the document, but this process has been delayed with no indication of when progress might be made. Given this lack of success the only option now available to give the community some control on developments in the Parish is to create a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) for Chelmondiston & Pin Mill as quickly as possible. The data gathered for the VDF will be used as the basis for this NDP.
- Apply for ‘Area Designation’. [By this step the District Council formally record their agreement on the geographical area for which the plan will be written. ] - COMPLETED
- Create a Draft Plan [Includes as much informal consultation with the community as possible.] - DUE complete MARCH 2019
- Formally consult with the local Community on the Draft Plan. [The consultation period has to be for a minimum of 6 weeks. The consultation has to be with all interested parties, including all those who live, work and operate a business within the designated area. The consultation has to include instructions on: Where to access the draft plan, How to make comments, and by When comments must be submitted.]
- Amend the draft plan based on comments obtained in step 3.
- Submit the revised draft to the local District Council [Babergh DC in our instance.]
- BDC organise a (2nd) formal consultation.
- BDC gather responses from step 6 and send these, together with the draft from step 5, to an independent examiner for review. [The Steering Group should choose who this examiner is.]
- The Examiner reviews the package from 7 and will suggest some changes be made to the draft text. [The Examiner checks that the plan provides for sustainable development, and is in line with the planning strategies as defined in the NPPF, the District Council Local Plan and EU directives.]
- The District Council (BDC) amend the text as directed in 8, and organise a referendum of interested parties within the designated area. [This is a simple majority vote.]
- If there is a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum, BDC have to adopt the Plan as part of their documentary Planning Suite.
The NDP is exected to be complete by end-2019.
Crucial to the success of the process is overt public consultation. Meeting minutes and other documents will be posted here during the project to assist this.
The next meeting of the Steering Group is on Tuesday, October 16th, 19:00 in St Andrews Church Hall
For further information please contact the Chair of the Steering Group - Rosie Kirkup