This is another reason why Plaistow & Ifold Parish needs to be very assured of its Neighbourhood Plan evidence, why the Steering Group are insistent upon it and ensures the process has been and is transparent.
Independent Examiner, Ann Skippers, has produced a very critical report on the Weedon Bec (Northamptonshire) Neighbourhood Plan. She assessed their Plan against Planning Practice Guidance basic conditions (laid down in planning legislation) and concluded that the making of the Plan would not meet them in several respects. She has therefore recommended that their Plan should not proceed to referendum.
‘too many of the Plan’s policies and proposals including the site allocations, lack robust and proportionate evidence to support them.’
‘It is not clear how some of the allocations and proposals have come about and as a result the process appears to lack transparency.’
Her report notes that the intent in policies ‘is often unclear or ambiguous and it would be difficult for the development industry to know how to accord with their requirements.’
‘The Plan does not provide the practical framework sought by national policy and guidance.’
‘Given the insufficient evidence base to support many of the policies, it is impossible to be certain that the Plan will help to achieve sustainable development.’
‘…some policies may, however inadvertently, result in development that is not appropriate…’
‘Furthermore the Plan area contains a variety of heritage assets. I have considerable doubt as to whether the Plan would conserve or enhance those heritage assets.’
As a result of the examination, Weedon Bec Parish Council has formally withdrawn their Neighbourhood Plan, “We are trying to make sense of the comments made, some we feel are harsh and set a very high bar for evidence for a plan at parish level.“
What are the BASIC CONDITIONS that a draft neighbourhood plan or Order must meet if it is to proceed to referendum?
Only a draft neighbourhood Plan or Order that meets each of a set of basic conditions can be put to a referendum and be made. The basic conditions are set out in paragraph 8(2) of Schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as applied to neighbourhood plans by section 38A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The basic conditions are:
a. having regard to national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State it is appropriate to make the order (or neighbourhood plan). Read more details.
b. having special regard to the desirability of preserving any listed building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest that it possesses, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders. Read more details.
c. having special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of any conservation area, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders. Read more details.
d. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) contributes to the achievement of sustainable development. Read more details.
e. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan for the area of the authority (or any part of that area). Read more details.
f. the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) does not breach, and is otherwise compatible with, EU obligations. Read more details.
g. prescribed conditions are met in relation to the Order (or plan) and prescribed matters have been complied with in connection with the proposal for the order (or neighbourhood plan). Read more details.
Paragraph: 065 Reference ID: 41-065-20140306
Revision date: 06 03 2014