NORTH TAWTON NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN REFERENDUM
6th MAY 2021
North Tawton Neighbourhood Plan
‘North Tawton, embracing the past, planning the future’
The story so far
In February 2013, North Tawton Town Council applied to West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) to nominate the land area of the Parish as a Neighbourhood Planning boundary. This was approved in June 2013 and the process of drawing up the Neighbourhood Plan began. A Neighbourhood Plan Development Group was formed consisting of North Tawton Town Councillors and members of the public, including representatives of local businesses. Over the period of developing the plan (2013 – 2018) membership of this group has changed – we acknowledge the contributions of all those who have participated in this very important process.
Gaining the views and ideas from the residents of the Parish of North Tawton became central to the whole process of developing the Plan. This was done in a range of ways including a ‘Call for Sites’ process (2013-14); Neighbourhood Plan Questionnaire (2014); development of aims & objectives (2014-15); themes & policies (Dec 2016); designating local green space (March 2017); Regulation 14 consultation (Dec – Jan 2017-18). Further details of the consultation process can be found in the ‘Consultation Statement’ Appendix 5.1.2.
Following the conclusion of the Regulation 14 Consultation process the Neighbourhood Plan development group collated and analysed all the comments received and amended the plan accordingly. This also included extensive discussions with WDBC who made a number of recommended amendments to the draft plan, most significantly the inclusion of allocated sites. This process inevitably took longer than anticipated due to changes in personnel within WDBC and the usual holiday periods. The Regulation 14 responses and actions taken can be found in Appendix 5.1.4.
A number of documents were prepared for submission to WDBC for the next stage of the process – Regulation 15. These included the latest revised version of the Plan, plus relevant maps and appendices; a Statement of Consultation; a Basic Conditions Statement which demonstrated that we had followed all the appropriate stages of the neighbourhood planning process; and a SEA & HRA screening report (an external assessment of the plan’s possible environmental impacts) produced by WDBC.
On receipt of these Submission Documents the Local Planning Authority (WDBC) undertook a period of public consultation with a wide range of stakeholders (people who live, work or carry on business in the Neighbourhood Plan area) as well as notifying all consultee bodies involved in this Public Consultation.
The final stage before the Referendum was the Official Examination, undertaken by a WDBC appointed person, agreed by the Development Group, who carried out an independent examination of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Examiner considered whether the proposed Neighbourhood Plan met the basic conditions set out by law and that it:
- had appropriate regard to national policy
- contributed to the achievement of sustainable development
- was in general conformity with the strategic policies in the development plan for the local area
- was compatible with human rights requirements
- was compatible with EU obligations
The Examiner submitted his findings of the Plan and concluded that
8.1 subject to the recommendations in this report being accepted, the Plan would meet the basic conditions as defined in the Localism Act 2011, Schedule 10 and Schedule 4B, 8 (2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
8.2 In accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Schedule 4B 10 (2) (b), I recommend that the modifications specified in this report are made to the draft Neighbourhood Development Plan and if accepted, the North Tawton Neighbourhood Plan 2016 – 2034 is submitted to a referendum.
The Examiner submitted his findings in September 2019, and following further amendments the final version was agreed by West Devon Borough Council in November 2019. North Tawton Town Council also voted in its full council meeting on November 5th 2019 to accept the Examiner’s findings.
The final version of the Neighbourhood Plan was made available in March 2020 with the Referendum due to take place in May 2020, however as all local elections were cancelled because of Covid-19, unfortunately the Referendum could not go ahead.
In the meantime the Neighbourhood Plan has continued to carry substantial material weight, which means that when NTTC and WDBC are considering planning applications the Plan’s polices are taken into consideration.
The Referendum is now due to take place on May 6th 2021. This will be organised by the WDBC elections unit and the local authority is required to publish information about the Neighbourhood Plan. They are required to give notice that a referendum is taking place and the date of the poll.
All official costs associated with the Referendum are borne by WDBC.
To read the latest version of the Plan please click on the link below
The Plan Appendices are available as PDF documents and can be downloaded from this page. There are also appendices to the Consultation Statement which are PDF documents and can be downloaded from this page.
There are also a limited number of hard copies available to borrow from the Office.
THE DESIGN STATEMENT IS AVAILABLE WHEN YOU CLICK ON THE LINK TO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
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