Following a 'yes' vote in the referendum on 27 February 2020, Dorset Council officially 'made' the Bridport Neighbourhood Plan on 5 May 2020.
Dorset Council has taken the decision to 'make' the Bridport Neighbourhood Plan (as modified in accordance with the Examiner's recommendations) part of the development plan for the Bridport neighbourhood area. The Report to Council and the Adoption Decision Statement are available.
The Bridport Neighbourhood Plan now forms part of the statutory development plan for use in planning decisions in the Bridport Neighbourhood Area which encompasses the parishes of Allington, Bothenhampton & Walditch, Bradpole, Bridport and Symondsbury.
Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan referendum
A referendum was held on 27 February 2020 asked residents Bridport, Allington, Bradpole, Bothenhampton & Walditch and Symondsbury: "Do you want Dorset Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Bridport to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?" 1861 voted in favour and 280 against. The full referendum results are also now available.
Hard copies of the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan and supporting material can be viewed at County Hall, Dorchester and Bridport Town Council offices as well as Bridport Library. Allington, Bradpole, Bothenhampton & Walditch and Symondsbury Parish Councils also intend to ensure copies of these documents are available locally.
The information being made available is:
- a Summary of Representations submitted to the examiner
- the Examiner's Report
- the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan Referendum Draft (as proposed and amended as a result of the examination)
- the Decision statement which includes a statement by the local planning authority that the plan as proposed meets the basic conditions
- the Information Statement which includes general information as to town and country planning including neighbourhood planning and the referendum
Neighbourhood Plan examination
An independent examiner Deborah McCann was appointed after a decision to submit the Neighbourhood Plan for examination. Her examination report was released on 8 October 2019 with the recommendation that the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan should, subject to modification, proceed to referendum.
Following the submission of the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan for examination, the examiner wrote to us and Bridport Town Council on the 12 August 2019 to ask a number of questions. The Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan Joint Council Committee (JCC) wrote back on the 29 August 2019. The JCC also supplied a report on the local green space assessment process (Appendix 1), regulation 14 consultation responses - heritage and landscape (Appendix 5) and a revised green gap plan by the Watton Hill Trust (Appendix 6).
As part of her examination of the plan, the independent examiner has to consider whether the plan meets certain basic conditions and satisfies legal requirements.
The basic conditions are set out in the legislation, and are intended to ensure that neighbourhood plans fit within their wider context. The plan must:
- have regard to national planning policies and guidance
- contribute to achieving sustainable development
- be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan i.e. the West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland Adopted Local Plan
- be compatible with European Union law and human rights obligations
- not breach the requirements of Chapter 8 of Part 6 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017
At the examination, an independent examiner will provide a review of the plan and make recommendations in accordance with the 2011 Localism Act and related regulations.
If the neighbourhood plan is approved following examination, and supported by a local referendum, it will be used to make decisions on planning applications.
Consultation on the Submitted Plan
As the local planning authority, the council is required to consult on the plan proposals before the examination takes place. The consultation process will run from 17 May until 28 June 2019. This is an opportunity for individuals and organisations to raise concerns they have about the plan with regard to the content and how it has been prepared. An independent examiner will be appointed and any concerns will be passed on to them for consideration as part of the examination process.
The Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan representing the communities of Allington, Bothenhampton & Walditch, Bradpole, Bridport & West Bay and Symondsbury is available to read together with the supporting documents which are as follows:
- The Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan Submission Version April 2019
- Consultation Report with appendices (2015 Vision & Objectives Consultation Summary and 2017 Consultation Summary with Appendix B)
- Basic Conditions Statement
- SEA Screening Report December 2017
- Habitats Regulation Assessment Screening Report April 2019
- Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan Health Check March 2019
- Neighbourhood Plan Evidence Base (web link)
A hard copy of the plan will be made available at the council offices in County Hall, Dorchester. Bridport Town Council also has also made reference copies available at its Town Council Offices, Bridport Library, Bridport Tourist Information Centre and from all partner parish clerks.
The plan and the supporting documents can also be viewed on the Bridport Neighbourhood Plan website