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Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan

The final examiners report into the Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan has been received and a decision has been made to enable the plan to proceed to referendum.

Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan referendum

Following the successful examination of the Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan, West Dorset District Council agreed to enable the plan, as amended to proceed to referendum. The council released a Decision Statement (pdf, 531kb) (opens in a new window) to this effect.

The referendum will be held on Thursday 2 November 2017 across the Buckland Newton parish area. If the majority of people who vote are in favour of the Plan, the Council will 'make' the plan so that it can be used in planning decisions.

Hard copies of the Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan and supporting material can be viewed at South Walks House, Dorchester and Sherborne Town Council offices. In addition, Buckland Newton Parish Council has made the plan available at the following locations: the Village Hall, the Old Chapel Stores and the Church from the 29 September. A display will be available at the Village Hall - dates and times appear in the Information Statement.  

The information being made available is:

The Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan examination

The final (consolidated) report (pdf, 577kb) (opens in a new window) on the Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan examination was received on 26 June 2017 superseding the Stage One Report received on 4 May 2017. The report recommends that Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan should subject to modification, proceed to referendum.

As part of the examination of the plan, the independent examiner must consider whether the Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan meets various requirements including the 'basic conditions'. To meet the basic conditions, the plan must:

  • have regard to national planning policies and guidance

  • contribute to achieving sustainable development

  • be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan i.e. the West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland Adopted Local Plan

  • be compatible with European Union law and human rights obligations

The examiner was also required to consider the area over which a referendum should be held. His recommendation on this point was that the Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Area (pdf, 890kb) (opens in a new window) was appropriate.

The Council will now consider the recommendations set out in the examiners report and decide how to proceed. If the neighbourhood plan is supported by a local referendum, it will be used to make decisions on planning applications.

Background to the examination

An independent examiner Ms Ann Skippers was appointed to undertake the examination of the Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan.

Having completed an initial assessment of the Neighbourhood Plan and some of the evidence submitted in support of it, the examiner wrote to the Councils on the 27 June 2016 (pdf, 281kb) (opens in a new window) with a series of questions related to matters of fact, clarification or further information. The councils responded on the 8 July 2016 (pdf, 474kb) (opens in a new window).

When considering the Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan in more detail, the independent examiner identified a number of issues which required attention. The examiner wrote to the Council on the  27 July 2016 (pdf, 82kb) (opens in a new window) raising three matters of concern. West Dorset District Council responded on the  26 August 2016 (pdf, 102kb) (opens in a new window) including a request by the Parish Council to submit further information. A second letter was received from the examiner on 12 September 2016 (pdf, 66kb) (opens in a new window) regretfully informing the Parish and District Councils of personal issues which meant she was unable to continue with the examination. The contract with the examiner has been terminated. To move forward with the Neighbourhood Planning examination a new examiner Mr Derek Stebbing has been appointed.  Due to the concerns raised by the first examiner it was agreed to undertake a two stage examination, the first considering legal compliance and second considering the content of the plan. The report on the first stage (pdf, 236kb) (opens in a new window)

Consultation on the submitted plan

We are required to consult on the plan proposals before the examination takes place. People were given 6 weeks from Thursday 28 January 2016 until Thursday 10 March 2016 to raise concerns they had about the plan with regard to the content and how it was prepared. An independent examiner was appointed and any concerns were passed on to them for consideration as part of the examination process.

The  Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan (pdf, 8Mb) (opens in a new window) is available to read together with the supporting documents which are as follows:

Additional evidence:

A hard copy of the plan is available at our offices in South Walks House and at Sherborne Library. Buckland Newton Parish Council also has copies available, the Parish Clerk can be contacted if you want to arrange to see them.

View the plan and the supporting documents (opens in a new window).

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