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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan 2019–2036

Referendum Result

The Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan referendum was held on Thursday 6 May 2021 and asked residents: "Do you want Dorset Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Chickerell to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?" 

A majority voted in favour of the neighbourhood plan (YES votes: 1006; NO votes: 184). The turnout was 24.7%. More details regarding the results, plus details of the other elections and referendums that took place that day can be found here.

As a result, the plan will now proceed to Cabinet on 22 June 2021 where a decision will be made on formally making the Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan part of the development plan for the area covered by Chickerell Town Council (the Chickerell neighbourhood area).


Dorset Council agreed with the findings of the Examiner’s Report and agreed that a referendum should take place on Thursday 6 May 2021. Documents relating to the referendum are listed below:

Decision to proceed to referendum

Following the successful examination of the Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan, Dorset Council has agreed that the plan, as amended, can proceed to referendum. The council released a Decision Statement on 26 February 2021 to this effect.

Regulations linked to the Coronavirus Act 2020 mean that neighbourhood plan referendums cannot take place until 6 May 2021. These measures mean that neighbourhood plans may come into force later than they would have done. With this in mind the Government has updated current planning guidance to set out that neighbourhood plans awaiting referendums can be given significant weight in decision making.

The Chickerell Town Neighbourhood Plan 2019-2036 (Referendum Version) should therefore be taken into account and given significant weight in decision-making, so far as the plan is material to the application. 

Examiner's Report

Mr David Hogger BA MSc MRTPI MCIHT issued his report on the submitted Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan on 6 January 2021. He concludes that provided the recommendations that he makes are followed, then the plan would meet the basic conditions. He therefore recommends that the plan, as modified, can proceed to referendum. Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning will decide, in due course, whether the plan should proceed to referendum.

The examiner considered whether the plan met certain basic conditions, satisfies legal requirements, and identifies an appropriate area for a referendum. The basic conditions, which are set out in the legislation, are intended to ensure that neighbourhood plans are compatible with their wider context.  The plan must:

  • have regard to national planning policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State;
  • contribute to achieving sustainable development;
  • be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan for the area (the North Dorset Local Plan); and,
  • be compatible with EU obligations and human rights requirements

The examiner provided a review of the plan and made recommendations in accordance with the Localism Act 2011 (as amended) and related regulations.

If the neighbourhood plan is supported by a local referendum, it will form part of the statutory development plan for Chickerell. 

Plan examination

In accordance with Regulation 17 of The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012, the submitted plan, supporting documents, and all representations received during the 6-week consultation period were sent to an Independent Examiner (David Hogger BA MSc MRTPI MCIHT).  The Examiner considers whether the plan meets certain basic conditions, satisfies legal requirements, and will identify an appropriate area for a referendum. 

The Examiner wrote a letter on 2 November 2020 setting out the examination timetable, and asking Chickerell Town Council and Dorset Council a number of questions in order to assist with the examination process.  The letter from the Examiner is available below, along with the responses from Chickerell Town Council and Dorset Council.

    1. CHIC2 North layout, CG FRY, eastern portion
    2. CHIC2 North layout, CG FRY, western portion
    3. CHIC2 East, indicative masterplan, 2010
    4. CHIC2 East, indicative masterplan, 2012
    5. CHIC2 East, indicative masterplan, 2015
    6. CHIC2 East, Persimmon masterplan, 2020
    7. CHIC2 East, Persimmon Green Infrastructure parameter plan, 2020
    8. Minutes from meeting between Ecology Solutions and Natural England, Aug 2015
    9. Persimmon Statement of Community Involvement, 2020
    10. Email from James Weir, DC Senior Conservation Officer, 4 Nov 2020
    11. Email from  David Stuart, Historic England, 20 Nov 2020

Consultation on the Submitted Plan

As the local planning authority, Dorset Council was required to consult on the plan before the examination takes place. The consultation took place for eight weeks from Friday 21 August to Friday 16 October 2020. The responses received during this period are below.  

Representations received to the submitted Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan

 Document Reference Response
 CH01  Highways England
 CH02  Historic England
 CH03  Darren and Claire Taylor
 CH04  Natural England
 CH05  Persimmon Homes South Coast
 CH05a  Response Form – Policy CNP4
 CH05b  Response Form – Policy CNP10
 CH05c  Appendix 1 – CHIC2 Allocation
 CH05d  Response Form – Camp Road Site
 CH05e  Response Form – Policy CNP11
 CH05f  Appendix 1 – Chickerell Background Paper
 CH05g  Appendix 2 – Site Delivery Statement
 CH05h  Ecological appraisal and Phase 1 bat survey
 CH05i  Movement & Access Strategy
 CH05j  Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
 CH06  CG Fry (local housebuilder)
 CH06a  Comments on Submission Draft
 CH06b  Comments on Pre-Submission Draft
 CH07  Bourne Leisure
 CH08  Aileen Chittle
 CH09  Weymouth and Portland Access Group
 CH10  Michael and Wendy Kelly
 CH11  Jurassic Coast Trust
 CH12  Dorset Council

Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan Submission Documents

1.  Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan (Submission Draft, May 2020)

2.  Consultation Summary / Statement (May 2020)

3.  Basic Conditions Statement (May 2020)

4.  Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) – Screening Report (May 2019)

5.  Local Green Space assessment (May 2020)

Additional supporting evidence

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