Our Introduction to the Independent Examiner’s Report….. some main points
- The Independent Examiner (IE) announced in his report of 18 June 2015 that Nuthurst Parish’s Neighbourhood Plan satisfied all the basic conditions in the legislation and that it could proceed to referendum.
- This is a huge achievement!! A lot of people in the Parish deserve great thanks for their involvement and work. They have enabled us to get to this point whereby we can start to protect our Parish from unwanted, speculative development.
- The IE’s decision means that you will all be asked to turn up at a polling station and cast your vote (for or against the Plan), just as you would in a local or national election. Unfortunately, we cannot tell you the date of the referendum yet. Horsham District Council (HDC) choose the date since they are responsible for organising and running the referendum. When we are given a date, we will publicise it widely. We want lots of you to keep involved and vote!
- If the majority of those voting in the referendum vote in support of the Plan and its development sites, HDC will use the Plan to determine future planning applications in the Parish.
- The IE’s report is long (37 pages) and painstakingly thorough. Although we had over 70% of parishioners in our consultation saying that they would vote for the Neighbourhood Plan, and lots of positive representations, the IE has only considered the negative representations of which there were actually very few. However, in order to be scrupulously fair to these parishioners, the IE has taken considerable time to go through each negative representation. Then he states his judgement. Inevitably this gives the report a negative tone. It is worth highlighting then one of the IE’s statements:
“It is inevitable that not everyone will be satisfied with the results but I am in little doubt that the submitted document (ie the Neighbourhood Plan) represents the aspirations of the community as a whole.”
- The IE makes “recommendations” for changes to the Neighbourhood Plan. As the IE says, it is standard for a Planning Authority to “have the last word” and so it is expected that parishes will accept an IE’s “recommendations”.
- Many of these recommendations involve changing some words in the Plan to make it clearer and this work has already started. Some “recommendations” for change are more significant, for example:
- Policy 11 on phasing the timing of developments will have to be removed because the IE says it is unacceptable.
- Policy 7, dealing with a development site behind Keatings in Nuthurst will have to be deleted. All the other sites remain in the Plan
- The text of Policy 2 on Swallowfield Nursery will need to be modified.
You can read a list of the main “recommendations” on page 1 of the IE’s report. He gives his full reasons in the body of the report.
- Just to summarise:
- There will be a formal referendum and we await a date from HDC. We aim for a high turn-out please.
- The Neighbourhood Plan will be modified to take into account the IE’s “recommendations”. These modifications will be checked by HDC before the referendum.
- If a majority of the residents vote for the Plan, it will be used alongside HDC’s Planning Framework to determine planning applications in the Parish.
Now click here to read the IE’s full report: Nuthurst Parish NP examiners report main body (final)