Decision to proceed to referendum

Following the successful examination of the Charmouth Neighbourhood Plan, Dorset Council agreed to enable the plan, as amended to proceed to referendum. The council released a Decision Statement to this effect.

Neighbourhood Plan Examination

On 28 October 2021 the examiner wrote to Dorset Council and Charmouth Parish Council to issue his Examination Report.

An independent examiner Andrew Mead BSc (Hons) MRTPI MIQ has been appointed to examine the Charmouth Neighbourhood Plan. 

The examiner wrote to us and Charmouth Parish Council on the 12 August 2021 to clarify several initial procedural matters. On 18 August 2021 Dorset Council and Charmouth Parish Council received a letter from the examiner to ask a number of questions. Charmouth Parish Council wrote back on the 31 August 2021 and Dorset Council responded on the 3 September 2021.  In response to a concern that the Environment Agency's advice may be misinterpreted, Dorset Council sought clarification from the Environment Agency on 25 August and 3 September 2021 with a letter of response received by the Environment Agency on 7 September 2021.

As part of his examination of the plan, the 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 ie 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

The 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 supported by a local referendum, it will be used to make decisions on planning applications.

Representations received to the submitted Charmouth Neighbourhood Plan

As the local planning authority, Dorset Council was required to consult on the plan review before the examination took place. This consultation took place for six weeks from  Friday 18 June 2021 until Friday 30 July 2021.  The responses received during this period are below.

Charmouth Neighbourhood Plan Responses Table

Document reference Response
CHAR1 Blandford Forum Town Council
CHAR2 Charmouth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
CHAR3 Dorset Council
CHAR4 Highways England
CHAR5 Historic England
CHAR6 Mr R Hughes
CHAR7 Marine Management Organisation
CHAR8 National Grid
CHAR9 National Trust
CHAR10 Environment Agency


Dorset Council received a late submission from the Environment Agency (CHAR10) which the Examiner has accepted and can be found in the table above.

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 took place from Friday 18 June until Friday 30 July 2021 (midnight). It provided an opportunity for individuals and organisations to make any comments they have about the plan with regard to its content and how it has been prepared. An independent examiner will be appointed and any comments will be passed on to him/her for consideration as part of the examination process

The Charmouth Neighbourhood Plan is available to read together with the supporting documents which are as follows:

Supporting evidence:

Other supporting evidence can be viewed on the neighbourhood plan website.

A hard copy of the Neighbourhood Plan should also be available for public inspection at Charmouth and Dorchester libraries, during their usual opening hours.

If you wish to comment please use the Response Form below and send it to us by the end of Friday 30 July 2021.

Comments on the plan can be emailed to

Given the majority of Dorset Council’s Planning staff are currently working remotely, in response to Government restrictions relating to coronavirus, the council would ask that interested parties refrain from sending any response forms by post if at all possible. If you have no alternative then response forms should be sent to:

Spatial Planning, Dorset Council, County Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1XJ

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