Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan Reaches Submission!
On 4th September the Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to the County Council for the final stages towards it becoming the plan to be used in decisions about the future development of the town and parish area.
This is a key milestone for the plan and follows many months of work revising the plan following the consultation stage last summer. The Steering Group have carefully considered all the responses we received and where appropriate proposed changes and alterations to the plan.
The County Council is now responsible for carrying out the final publicity and consultation stage for 6 weeks which will commence in early October and is the last opportunity to make representations on the plan.
Following that stage the County Council must arrange an examination of the plan carried out by an independent examiner which will assess whether the plan meets the basic conditions.
The basic conditions in brief are that the plan:
- has regard to national planning policy,
- is in general conformity with the strategic policies of the County development plan,
- will contribute to delivering sustainable development in the plan area
- complies with European Union obligations
The County Council has appointed Mr Nigel McGurk, a fully qualified professional planner and experienced independent examiner of neighbourhood plans. He will examine the plan over the autumn taking into account the representations made during the final Publicity stage.
The examiner must make a recommendation to the County Council regarding the neighbourhood plan and 3 options are open to him.
- Find that the plan meets the basic conditions and recommend that it proceeds to the local referendum (the last stage) without modification.
- Find that the plan fails to meet the basic conditions and recommend it is referred back to the Town Council for further work and does not proceed to the referendum or
- Find that, subject to modifications being made, the plan would meet the basic conditions and can proceed to the local referendum.
To help him reach a view on the plan in terms of these basic conditions we have sent the following documents to the examiner:
- The plan(Click here to view)
- Proposal Map (Click here to view)
- A map of the plan area (Click here to view)
- A statement about the consultation steps we have taken (Click here to view)
- A statement about how we consider the plan meets the basic conditions (Click here to view)
- An Environment Report setting out how we consider the plan will deliver sustainable development (Click here to view)
In practice the result of the examination is likely to be the last of the 3 options. In other words that, subject to some modifications being made, the plan will be allowed to proceed to the referendum stage. If this is the case the County Council would determine whether it agrees with the examiner’s recommendations and if so work with the Town and Parish Councils to make the modifications which he has recommended.
Once that is done the County Council must arrange the local referendum after giving due notice. On the referendum day provided more than 50% of those turning out to vote decide they want the neighbourhood plan to be the basis of the future planning of Alnwick and Denwick then it must be ‘made’ by the County Council and adopted for that purpose.
So - we’ve come a long way - but there are still a number of important steps to take - but the important thing is that we have a neighbourhood plan which we believe genuinely reflects the will of the Alnwick and Denwick community and it is now submitted for the final stages.
Thanks to all of you who have contributed in getting us to this point. Without the commitment of the Town Council, the Steering Group, our partners and most importantly you our local residents we could not have got to this stage.
Mayor of Alnwick
ADNP on the County Council’s online consultation system.
The consultation page for the Alnwick & Denwick Neighbourhood Plan is now available on the Northumberland County Council website here.
What is a neighbourhood plan?
The introduction of neighbourhood planning is part of wider changes to the planning system in the Localism Act 2011. The Act aims to shift decision making from central government to communities and councils. Neighbourhood planning helps town and parish councils to prepare a plan for their area, in close consultation with residents, businesses and other local organisations.
Why are we doing it?
We are keen to give local communities and businesses more say in shaping the future of the town and its surroundings. Neighbourhood planning measures allow communities to shape new development by coming together to prepare neighbourhood plans.
They will be able to:
- Choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built
- Have their say on what those new buildings should look like
- Establish planning policies for the development and use of land
- Grant planning permission for development they want to see go ahead
Parish and town councils or neighbourhood forums will lead the creation of neighbourhood plans, supported by the local planning authority Northumberland County Council.