The Effingham Neighbourhood Plan – on the way to a Referendum
Following a successful Examination, Effingham's Neighbourhood Plan is set to proceed to Referendum, probably in February 2018.
Independent Examiner Peter Biggers issued his report on the Submission Neighbourhood Plan in September, and recommended to Guildford Borough Council that, following some modifications, the Plan should proceed to a Referendum. Mr Biggers stated: “The extent of interest and participation by residents in The Plan at the various stages is impressive and I am satisfied from the evidence that the communication and consultation which took place provided full opportunity for the community’s participation.”
The two principal modifications to the Plan relate to site allocations, one of which will now be deleted but may come forward again once the new Guildford Local Plan is adopted, whilst the other sees a reduction in the number of homes felt to constitute ‘limited infilling’ on the Church Street site. All other aspects of the plan have been approved and indeed strengthened, including a housing target of about 50 homes to meet local need, a policy requiring a high proportion of two-bedroom homes in any new development, protection for wildlife corridors and Local Green Spaces, and a policy setting out the process for controlling development on new windfall sites. That means any new sites that come forward must be assessed in the same way as we assessed the site allocations in the Plan, giving stronger protection in the future to our Green Belt and to community facilities and local businesses. Read the Examiner's report and the Parish Council's press release below:
The Neighbourhood Plan sets planning policies for the parish that will help shape and determine planning decisions in Effingham, including the number and type of new homes, where those homes are built, the protection of our Green Belt countryside and landscape, and design principles to preserve the character of the village and wider parish.
You can view and download the 'Submitted Effingham Neighbourhood Plan' and other supporting documents using the links below.
Neighbourhood Plan Documents
|ENP||Effingham Neighbourhood Plan|
|SD 3||Strategic Environment Assessment Screening Report|
Evidence Base - Effingham Neighbourhood Area
|VDS||Village Design Statement|
|WALK||A Walk Around Effingham: A Guide to Valued Views|
|HRS||Housing Requirements Survey - Summary of Responses|
|E 1||Housing Target for Effingham|
|E 2||Selection of Allocated Sites for Housing|
|E 3||Historic England SEA Screening Opinion|
|E 4||Environment Agency SEA Screening Opinion|
|E 5||Wildlife Corridors - Guidance from Natural England|
|E 6||Natural England HRA Screening Opinion|
|ELF-PRE||Pre-application Effingham Lodge Farm|
Preparing the Neighbourhood Plan
In preparing the Neighbourhood Plan, the Parish Council has consulted widely and engaged with both residents and interested parties through community events, public meetings and workshops, newsletters and an on-line forum. You can read more about the process in the Consultation Statement.
The final formal stage of preparation was overseen by the Effingham Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Group (ENPAG) made up of parish councillors and residents with experience in many different areas of community life in Effingham. Effingham Parish Council is grateful for the huge amount of work carried out by the volunteers on ENPAG and on the various Working Groups who have helped to shape the final Plan. The Plan has also benefited from significant support and advice from planning officers at Guildford Borough Council.
ENPAG organised a parish-wide survey during the formal 'Regulation 14' consultation in the summer of 2016, to find out what residents thought of the draft Neighbourhood Plan. 54% of households completed at least one survey form, and there was strong support for all the key policies of the draft Plan, set out in the Survey Analysis. The Plan was revised to take account of all comments received during the Regulation 14 consultation, and finally submitted for a 'Health Check' by a Neighbourhood Plan Examiner.
Health Check January 2017
Independent Examiner Rosemary Kidd carried out a two-stage Health Check on the pre-submission draft, and made recommendations to ensure that the Neighbourhood Plan met the Basic Conditions of the statutory Neighbourhood Planning Regulations. (You can read more about this in the Basic Conditions Statement.) The Neighbourhood Plan was amended to follow the recommendations of the Health Check, mainly by clarifications and extra wording to explain the policies.
The Health Check was carried out in two stages, and you can read the reports using the links below. The Plan was amended as recommended in the Stage 1 report, and resubmitted to the Examiner for her to complete Stage 2 of the Health Check in January 2017. The Submission Neighbourhood Plan has benefited from further amendments to meet the Examiner's final recommendations in the Stage 2 report. In particular, wording was added to the Basic Conditions Statement explaining how sites SA1 and SA2 satisfy the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework concerning 'small scale infill development', and extra information about the previously devleoped land was included to explain the allocated site in SA3.
The Neighbourhood Plan will form part of a wider Village Plan for Effingham. To see the initial Village Plan proposal and the successful application to designate Effingham as a Neighbourhood Area, click here and here.
For more details of the Village Plan process, visit http://effinghamvillageplan.com/