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Neighbourhood Plan

Background

The 2011 Localism Act changed the planning system to give local people a greater say in how their communities are developed. Once adopted, Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDPs) now give residents the opportunity to decide the planning policies for the use and development of the land in their town or parish, include choosing where new homes, shops, leisure facilities or businesses should be built, how many there should be, and what the buildings should look like.

NDPs need to conform with planning policies and guidance at local, national and European levels and comply with the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations. They must also demonstrate that the local community has been fully involved throughout their preparation and they are subject to agreement in a community referendum on completion.

Once a Neighbourhood Plan has been made and adopted, it becomes a statutory plan carrying equal weight with Herefordshire Council's Local Plan, forms part of the Local Development Framework and will be used by Herefordshire Council in making decisions on planning applications in the Neighbourhood Area. Further information can be found here.

The Bodenham Neighbourhood Development Plan

On 5 March 2013 the Parish Council applied for Bodenham Parish to be designated as a Neighbourhood Area and this was granted on 22 April 2013. By that time the Parish Council had, on 8 April 2013, established the nucleus of a Steering Group to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish.

This was a very important initiative because of the way it will influence the development of the Parish through the future planning process. As already mentioned, the local community has to be fully involved and evidence of this has to be provided, for example, through the outcome of surveys of the views of local residents. This evidence is contained in a 'Consultation Statement' and you can find a copy of this, together with all the other documents relating to the Plan, in the Evidence Base here.

Regulation 14 Consultation

At its Meeting on 1 August 2016 the Parish Council approved the draft Plan for circulation in what is called the ‘Regulation 14 Consultation’. This was when local residents and businesses had the chance to study the draft and comment on it formally. (You can find out more about this and the other parts of the neighbourhood planning process here).

Printed copies of the draft Plan were delivered to households and businesses by volunteers in the week Monday 26 September - Sunday, 2 October 2016. (You can still find and, if you wish, download a copy of that edition of the draft plan here).

The formal six-week Regulation 14 Consultation started on Monday, 3 October and finished on Monday, 14 November 2016, while the deadline for comments was 5.00pm on Sunday, 20 November 2016. Over 60 responses were received and the Parish Council would like to express its thanks to all those who took the trouble to study the draft Plan and submit their views on it.

Regulation 16 Consultation

Following the Consultation, the Parish Council spent much of the first half of 2017 preparing its replies to all the responses it had received and considering what, if any, changes it needed to make to the draft Plan in the light of all the views which had been expressed. With so many responses received - some of them quite detailed - this proved to be a lengthy process and involved the Parish Council seeking advice on the more technical points from our independent planning consultant.

However, steady progress was made and the results were compiled in the draft 'Consultation Statement already mentioned. This sets out details of when and how local residents have been consulted throughout the preparation of the draft Plan and includes transcripts of all the responses received to the 'Regulation 14' Consultation, together with the Parish Council's replies to them and the changes to the draft Plan which resulted.

At the same time a new, updated version of the draft Plan was produced incorporating all the latest modifications and this took the Parish Council to the point when, on 10 November 2017 it was able to submit the new draft Plan and various supporting documents to Herefordshire Council. These can all be found in the Regulation 16 section of the Evidence Base here.

Subject to Herefordshire Council's approval, the draft Plan will shortly be circulated for the six week 'Regulation 16' Consultation before, all being well, it is sent to an independent examiner for consideration. Only if he or she agrees, can the Plan eventually go to a referendum at which local residents will have the final say on whether it is accepted or rejected.

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