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Neighbourhood Planning Neighbourhood Planning Learning from Cerne Valley the West Dorset perspective David Evans – Environment Director West Dorset District.

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Presentation on theme: "Neighbourhood Planning Neighbourhood Planning Learning from Cerne Valley the West Dorset perspective David Evans – Environment Director West Dorset District."— Presentation transcript:

1 Neighbourhood Planning Neighbourhood Planning Learning from Cerne Valley the West Dorset perspective David Evans – Environment Director West Dorset District Council October 2011

2 West Dorset Rural district – 138 parishes –6 town councils –38 parish councils, 24 grouped councils –8 parish meetings Covering 400 sq miles (1,000 km²) Population of just under 100,000

3 West Dorset Environment vs. economy –71% AONB –World Heritage coastline –55 SSSIs and over 560 SNCIs –SAMs – Cerne Giant, Maiden Castle... –Low average wage level –High land costs –Poor communications –Shortage of labour with relevant skills, and lack of affordable housing…

4 Our Front Runners Central Government invited councils to ‘bid’ to be a front-runner Gauged interest through our WDP annual assembly – 13 volunteered Through selection put forward: –Cerne Valley (first wave) –Sherborne (third wave) As part of our bid we said we wanted to work on a new-style Local Plan

5 What have we learned so far? How the plan fits in the system What it will cover Who will prepare it How long it will take What resourcing it will need What could trip us up?

6 How the plan fits… Part of the development plan –cannot override strategic policies / growth targets –S38(6) status – decide in accordance unless material considerations indicate otherwise  Working out our strategic policies in tandem… –how locally do we set housing targets? –could this come too late?  Local control vs. material considerations –asking for clarity on the neighbourhood development order

7 How the plan fits… Need to accord with EU and HR legislation –SEA / EIA requirements –Right to be heard  Who is responsible for the SEA/EIA? –We don’t currently have an existing Sustainability Appraisal –Local ownership / acceptance of options / vs. LPA or external expertise  How are consultation responses handled?

8 What will it cover? (subject to the tests) its up to them… –Location of development / development boundaries / criteria –A new housing / employment site –What infrastructure you hope to fund –Design standards –Permitted development rights  Single issue - or - belt and braces? –When a plan is silent…

9 Who will prepare it? Parish Council  LPA: hands-off approach  Steering group established - ToR –Defined membership – parish councillors and local people who “bring value to the project”, plus clerk and LPA link officer –Declaration of personal interests –Non-decision making –Closed meetings but reporting regularly to the Parish Council

10 Parish council / Neighbourhood Forum initiates process but the Borough / district council must agree the area to be covered Local community develops plan Borough / district council has duty to support Draft plan submitted to the council ‘Light touch’ public examination checked against national and locally strategic policies, and EU legislation Local referendum – if clear majority (51% of those that vote), the plan is adopted How are they prepared?

11 Complete Stage Jan 2011Parish council agreed to pilot Apr 2011Parish council agreed steering group Oct 2011Process Planning Jan 2012Establishing needs, hopes and issues April 2012Developing solutions, finding consensus July 2012Drafting neighbourhood plan / NDO Jan 2013Consulting on the Neighbourhood plan May 2013Submission ??Independent Examination ??Referendum and adoption How long will it take? 9 months

12 What resourcing will it need? No direct funding for parish councils –£20k funding at LPA’s discretion – intended to cover LPA’s costs (referendum, examination etc) –Other sources? sponsorship from a local businesses fund-raising events Parish council precept Council grant scheme (discretionary)  Referendum costs may vary widely  Parish budgets and precepts set in advance  Concerns over ‘trust’ if developer-sponsored

13 What resourcing will it need? Free advice / support through: –District Council –The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment –Locality –Campaign to Protect Rural England –RTPI Planning Aid  Link officer time / resources –Resource-intensive initially – learning curve –Building trust between the council and the community –Ability / knowledge to link with other council and external support services

14 What resourcing will it need?  Princes Foundation –Helping us run a facilitated 3-day community planning event later this year (but not Saturday…)  Locality – for the next steps?  CPRE – no tailored advice  RTPI Planning Aid – not in a deprived area  Design Council – village walk around (free)  Other – AMT daily rate ranges from £250 to £350 per day (excluding expenses)

15 What could trip us up? Not explaining the relationship with the local plan and parish plans Changes in elected councillors Momentum vs. volunteer time Full community engagement (especially in larger settlements) Managing expectations –Scope of plan, funding for infrastructure, viability Managing our resources –69% keen, only 6% said they had no interest in preparing a neighbourhood plan

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