Ropley Neighbourhood Plan
Neighbourhood Plan Update – September and next steps
The Public Consultation Comments continue to be worked on. Frameworks have been completed for 95% of the responses, requiring final commentary to be added to the Consultation Document. This now stands at 223 pages and 61,000 words. The team plan to continue to review throughout August on Monday evenings and have added several working sessions planned for Weekends to complete the task.
Our Session with John Slater (Retained Planning Consultant) in July proved highly useful and we have approval for the methodology we are using and advice on how to respond to comments. Review of Statutory Bodies has yet to be started, but the team have escalated the more technical responses to John Slater for comment.
All feedback will be acknowledged, collated and reviewed. If there is sufficient strength of feeling about particular proposals then the Neighbourhood Plan team and Parish Council will consider changes to the draft plan, and any amendments to the plan will be discussed and voted on at the next available Parish Council meeting.
Once this consultation process has concluded and any amendments have been voted through, the plan becomes the Ropley Neighbourhood Plan submission document to East Hampshire District Council (EHDC), who then take ownership of the remainder of the process. EHDC will then review the plan and consult with the required statutory bodies. The plan will then be subject to examination by an independent external examiner. Any changes required by the examiner will be returned to the Parish Council who can either accept or reject the changes. If these are accepted the Plan will then be subject to a parish wide referendum administered by EHDC, and, if approved by more than 50% of votes, become part of the local planning policy for Ropley.
It is a community-led project for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. It is not a tool to prevent development and it will not affect planning applications that have already been submitted. It may contain visions, aims, planning policies and proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development, or preventing specific types of development in specific locations.
Neighbourhood Plans have statutory authority. This gives them far more weight than some other local documents, such as parish plans, community plans and village design statements, and local authorities or planning inspectors have to make decisions on the basis of the polices contained in the Neighbourhood Plan
The scope and complexity of a plan can vary. It could be wide-ranging, or deal with just one or two issues only. We’ve gone for just one issue to start with, housing. This is to play catch-up and tie in with EHDC publishing their new planning policy, due in December 2015.
Over the life of the plan there will be a continuing requirement to update it. It’s a living document. There are also other areas to branch out into, like education, transport and other infrastructure.
.Settlements that have a Neighbourhood Plan can directly influence how infrastructure funding is spent, benefiting from an increase to 25% (from 15%) of the Community Infrastructure Levy revenues from any relevant development that takes place in their area.
Why bother with a Neighbourhood Plan
We could leave everything to the EHDC planners in Penns Place. But beware; many of the surrounding villages to Ropley are already working on producing their own Neighbourhood Plans. Any villages or settlements without one are more at risk of future over development and less able to influence future housing allocations and infrastructure development.
Public Consultation is key
For Ropley’s Neighbourhood Plan to be valid, formal approval to be obtained and the Plan to gain statutory status, we must show that the local community has been actively engaged throughout the process and their opinions and representation reflected in the plan. As a member of the community you can participate directly in that.
To make coordination and communication easier, Ropley and the surrounding area has been split into 6 geographical areas. Each area has a person to lead the distribution and gathering of information and ideas interfacing between the residents and the Steering Committee that’s managing this project.
To GET INVOLVED and HAVE YOUR SAY
contact your Geographical Lead below
Neighbourhood 1 – Village Center
◦ Robin Houghton on firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighbourhood 2 – Gascoigne Lane, Gilbert Street, Court Lane & Swelling Hill
◦ Roger Langridge on email@example.com
Neighbourhood 3 – Ropley Dean, Station Road & Bighton Hill North Street
◦ Sarah Crockford on firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighbourhood 4 – Monkwood, Charlwood & Lyeway
◦ Simon Tye on email@example.com
Neighbourhood 5 – Soames Lane, Stapely Lane, Parkstone Road & Lywood
◦ David Harrison on firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighbourhood 6 – Lower Petersfield Road & Park Lane
◦ Rosie and Andy Sampson on email@example.com