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Neighbourhood Plan - FAQ

 
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Q: Why are we doing a Neighbourhood Plan?

A: The government introduced neighbourhood plans to enable town, parish councils their residents to influence and shape the future development of their towns and villages. Shiplake Parish Council held public meetings with residents in December 2016 and January 2017 in support of such an initiative, resulting in the formation of a Steering Group of resident volunteers to develop such a plan.

Q: What is a Neighbourhood Plan

A: It is a plan, developed by residents, sponsored by and subsequently approved by the parish council. It has to be in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the govt. approved housebuilding requirements of South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC), as represented in its Local Plan.  Basically, we agree a plan, which has to be approved by SODC, a Govt. Planning Inspector and ultimately by a majority of residents, in a referendum. It becomes part of SODC’s planning policy in determining planning applications….unless other material considerations apply.

Q: Who will make sure the plan represents the interests of the whole community?

A: Shiplake Parish Council is the designated authority sponsoring and ultimately responsible for the plan, with a representative on the Steering Group ensuring governance procedures are adhered to, as provided by the parish council, along with access to the necessary grants and funds to make the neighbourhood plan possible. The parish council via public meetings and its website provides updates and the opportunity to provide feedback on the developing plan. back to top

NOTE: Reflecting the need to transition to the parish council - the responsible legal body -  the finalising of the neighbourhood plan proposals,  a Neighbourhood Plan Committee  was created in August 2019, comprised of members of the Steering Group and parish councillors.

Q: Why are there limitations on who can vote in the referendum?

A: Neighbourhood plans are government policy and become part of its planning framework when approved and voted on by the electorate. As such it is subject to the to the government's democratic procedures in these matters i.e. in this instance, registered electors in the designated area of the Shiplake Neighbourhood Plan, which is consistent with parish boundaries approved in 2014.

Q: When will the plan be completed and how will I/we be kept informed of progress?

A: How quickly a neighbourhood plan can be developed depends on several factors, not least changes in government legislation, the NPPF and SODC's Local Plan requirements. All of these have occurred delaying and resulting in changes to Shiplake's proposed plan. It is also dependent on the period of time it takes for SODC and the government to assess and approve the plan, prior to a community referendum then voting in favour of its adoption. It is anticipated that the draft plan will be available for consultation early in 2020 and the approval process before the end of the year.

Q: How can I make comments?back to top

A: All households received an extensive questionnaire in the Spring of 2017. The views of the 700+ residents who responded have been taken account of and provide the basis of many of the proposals within the plan being developed.  A public exhibition was held on 3 and 4 November 2017, with over 300 residents attending of which 73% provided +ve feedback. All comments have been taken account of as the plan has developed.

Further comments may be made using the following email address NP2017@Shiplakevillages.com or questions may also be raised on the Forum.

Q: Are the proposals going to be on the website?

A: Yes, when the draft neighbourhood plan is submitted for 'pre-consultation' early in 2020.

Q: Why have we given up on the green gap between the villages?

A: We have not. The proposed NP is making every effort to preserve this as far as is practicable.

Q: Can we not build houses on the vacant land near the river?

A: No land that is designated as flood plain cannot be developed with Housing for reasons of safety. The primary exception to this is the replacement of an existing dwelling. back to top

Q: Have you considered schools?

A: This is an area we very much wanted to consider but confirmed to be outside of our mandate, hence the Plan will only contain reference to problems and issues by way of an informative for higher authorities.

Q: What are the Neigbbourhood Plan's Governance Procedures?

A: Please click here for a copy of the Steering Group's governance procedures including a summary of benefits and issues related to the Neighbourhood plan. 

Q: What is Brownfield and Greenfield Land, and what is the significance of these different categories?

A: This is a good question and one over which significant discussion has taken place because it is something that people refer to in day to day language, but which actually has a clear and defined meaning under the governments national guidelines. This guidance may be found here.

This glossary of terms was published in 2012 as part of what is known as the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and the paragraph which refers to ‘Previously Developed Land’ being their words for Brownfield, is therein defined. Click here for more detail if required. back to top