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 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 West Devon Borough Council 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 have been prepared for submission to West Devon Borough Council for the next stage of the process – Regulation 15. These include the latest revised version of the Plan, plus relevant maps and appendices; a Statement of Consultation; a Basic Conditions Statement which demonstrates that we have followed all the appropriate stages of the neighbourhood planning process; a SEA & HRA screening report (an external assessment of the plan’s possible environmental impacts)produced by West Devon Borough Council.
On receipt of these Submission Documents the Local Planning Authority (WDBC) must publicise them on their website and in any other appropriate manner to bring the information to the attention of all stakeholders (people who live, work or carry on business in the Neighbourhood Plan area) as well as notifying all consultee bodies involved in the Second Public Consultation of their receipt. They must allow a period of at least 6 weeks for any representations on the proposals to be received.
Following this process will be the Official Examination of the Plan where WDBC will appoint a person, the ‘Independent Examiner’, to carry out an independent examination of the Neighbourhood Plan. This appointment will need agreement by the Development Group and it must be an appropriately qualified and experienced person with attributes including:
- knowledge and experience in current planning policy, legislation, and procedures
- appropriate qualification and membership of an appropriate professional body
- freedom from conflicts of interest or bias (real or perceived)
- experience and ability to weigh evidence and to deal with a range of people of varying levels of knowledge
- ability to make sound and impartial professional judgments
The examiner will only consider whether the proposed Neighbourhood Plan meets the basic conditions set out by law and that it:
- has appropriate regard to national policy
- contributes to the achievement of sustainable development
- is in general conformity with the strategic policies in the development plan for the local area
- is compatible with human rights requirements
- is compatible with EU obligations
The examination is often undertaken by written representations, but may involve a public hearing.
When the Neighbourhood Plan is satisfactory, after modifications if necessary, then the local authority (WDBC) will arrange for The Referendum to take place. This will be organised by the 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.
Once the Plan has been agreed by the Examiner there will be a limited number of hard copies available.