Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Plan 2019-2031
Following the successful examination of the Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Plan, Dorset Council has agreed that the plan, as amended, can proceed to referendum. The council released a Decision Statement (link to attached PDF) on 4 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 Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Plan 2019-2031 (Final Version) should therefore be taken into account and given significant weight in decision-making, so far as the plan is material to the application.
Mr David Hogger BA MSc MRTPI MCIHT issued his report on the submitted Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Plan on 13 August 2020. 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, Cllr David Walsh, will decide, in due course, whether the plan should proceed to referendum.
In particular, the examiner had to consider whether the plan meets 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 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.
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.
On 11 May 2020, the examiner wrote to Dorset Council and Shaftesbury Town Council with a set of questions. The questions and accompanying letter are provided below:
Consultation on the submitted plan
As the local planning authority, Dorset Council was required to consult on the plan before the examination took place. This consultation took place for six weeks from Friday 7 February to Friday 20 March 2020. The responses received during this period are below.
Representations received to the submitted Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Plan
Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Plan - submission documents
1. Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Plan (Submission version, January 2020) - pages 1-50
Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Plan (Submission version, January 2020) - pages 51-133
2. Consultation Statement (January 2020)
3. Basic Conditions Statement (December 2019)
4. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) – screening statement (July 2019)
Additional supporting evidence
5. Green Infrastructure Audit
6. Housing and Employment – background paper
7. Transport Appendix
8. Parking Study
9. AECOM Design Statement
Other supporting evidence
Additional evidence used is listed in Appendix M of the submitted plan with weblinks to where these are available on-line.