For more information, please visit the Hampton Lucy Neighbourhood website.
The Localism Act 2011 included legislation for local communities to produce a Neighbourhood Development Plan which is a new grass roots tier for the planning system, which, when adopted will become a legal document carrying significant weight when planning decisions are made.
Hampton Lucy Parish Council asked for volunteers in 2013 to produce a Neighbourhood Plan for the village so a small group was formed to find out your views using questionnaires, public meetings and by consulting with all stakeholders in the parish.
Why do we need a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan allows all the people who live in the parish to directly influence the future development of Hampton Lucy. It has “Statutory Status” and Stratford District Council (SDC) will be legally required to take its recommendations into account as part of the district planning process.
It’s not just about housing and other building development in the parish but can address anything to do with the parish that is of concern to its residents – shops, social facilities, roads, green spaces, conservation areas, traffic flow etc.
To ensure that the Neighbourhood Plan becomes a legal planning requirement, it‘s essential that it is community led. It will give us:-
- An unprecedented opportunity to make your voice heard through the production of a binding set of planning policies
- Gives you a lot more influence and control over the development of your area
- Allows you to develop criteria and choose which sites are allocated for what kind of development and how that development should look
- Helps you to deliver real, tangible, benefits for your area e.g. new homes for local people and the protection of open spaces for future generations to enjoy
- Facilitates community cohesion through tackling local issues and aspirations which may otherwise be overlooked by LPA
How many houses are we required to accept?
At a meeting held on 11th July 2016, Stratford-on-Avon District Council resolved to adopt the Stratford-on-Avon Core Strategy (SDCS). With regard to housing development, Hampton Lucy has been designated a Category 4 Local Service Village (LSV) due to our limited facilities in the village based on whether a village has a school, a shop etc.
Across the District, 400 homes in total is the SDC strategic allocation identified for Category 4 LSVs, of which no more than around 8% should be provided in any individual settlement, that is, around 32 houses. This means that, following the Charles Church development of 25 dwellings in Hampton Lucy, we are expected to provide at least a further 7 houses between now and 2031.
SDC is committed to giving local people the opportunity to influence where homes are built in their communities and encourages Parish Councils to prepare Neighbourhood Plans that identify sites to meet or exceed the housing requirements set out.
Progress so far
We are currently in the preparation stages of the plan, this is a long process which involves consultation with those living and working in the Parish and collecting as much data as we can to use as evidence to form the policies. We are expected to show evidence that we have achieved this through such things as questionnaires, open days and mood cards:-
In order to get some feel for the opinions of the residents, the NP group held an open day and issued two separate questionnaires to residents and one to the businesses in the parish to obtain their views on housing, green spaces, wildlife, biodiversity, amenities, heritage and conservation (listed buildings), transport, leisure opportunities, health and wellbeing, and flooding.
The first residential questionnaire in 2014 produced 51 replies, and the analysis of these responses was used during the Charles Church appeal to support the refusal of planning permission for 25 houses at Hampton Lucy. The findings were that:-
- 39% felt that there should be no new houses at all
- 41% thought that the village needed a maximum of 10 houses
- The majority of people wanted houses with 2 to 3 bedrooms, in a traditional style, in keeping with the village architecture and not a typical suburban estate
- There was a demand for Shared Ownership / Local Occupancy and First Time Buyer homes
- The majority of people also wanted new houses scattered around the village rather than in one place
An Open Day was held on 8th March 2015 in conjunction with the 2nd questionnaire where information on neighbourhood planning was provided and attendees were asked for their views on a range of issues, such as where housing development might best be located in and around the village, green spaces, public footpaths, etc.
The Open Day included a ‘map exercise’ where individuals were asked to indicate on a map the most appropriate sites for housing development. Individuals were free to indicate as many sites as they thought appropriate. 8 potential sites were chosen and every site identified has been investigated equally.
The second questionnaire that was produced in 2015 resulted in 46 responses and it gave us a good understanding about the type of issues that parishioners were concerned about and these issues along with the Business questionnaire results went on to form the basis of the final much more complex questionnaire that will be delivered in September 2016.
This final questionnaire gives us the chance to be specific not only on the location of new houses but also their size, design and height etc. We will be able to create policies on much more than just housing, such as the protection of important community facilities like the village hall, pub, views and green spaces, conservation, transport and the promotion of new facilities like cycling routes and renewable energy.
We are very grateful that residents have taken the time to answer the questionnaires and attend the meetings. Your views are essential to the success of this project and hugely appreciated.
Sites that will be considered
Sites have been identified from the following sources:-
- Sites identified during the Open Day on 8th March 2015
- Three sites submitted by Stansgate following the SDC ‘call for sites’ last year
- All of the sites indicated on the map at the public meeting on 2nd September 2015
- Other sites added to the list separately which have been brought to the attention of the members of the NP group
All of the 8 potential development sites in and adjacent to Hampton Lucy village have been independently and impartially assessed for their suitability Consultation may be required with Severn Trent, National Grid, Warwickshire County Council (WCC), Highways and SDC.
The results of these assessments will be compared with the findings from the final questionnaire illustrating the views of the residents and this will enable us to find the best possible locations for the remaining 7 houses that we are expected to accept. It has also been recommended that we also have a reserve site in case the core strategy changes.
What’s the next stage?
Writing the Plan
The final questionnaire will be delivered very soon and the results will be analysed and assessed by an independent consultant, we will then be expected to write policies based on a strong evidence base and these policies will form the draft plan and proposals, identifying any key issues, visions and objectives. The policies will be displayed in a final open day for public consultation allowing residents to either accept or reject them.
If you would like to get involved with the writing of policies your input would be greatly appreciated, we need manpower and skills to write these policies.
Draft Plan Consultation
Once the plan has been written we must undertake a formal 6 week ‘pre-submission’ consultation period to publicise the draft plan, and any responses received will be taken into account to inform a final version of the Neighbourhood Plan. We are currently in the process of having a website built which will publicise the plan to everyone who lives, works or carries out business in the parish and it will also be an important evidence base for the Examiner to use.
We then submit the plan to SDC with all of the supporting evidence. SDC then publicises the proposals for a further 6 weeks and invites comment. After which the Neighbourhood Plan would be submitted for examination. An Independent examiner is appointed and paid for by SDC and the appointment must be agreed with the Parish Council based on a specific criteria.
The SDC will then publish the examiners report and if the examination is successful, then a referendum will be held and all electors in the Parish will have the opportunity to vote on the Plan.
Neighbourhood Plan is adopted
If more than 50% of those voting are in favour of the Plan it will then be ‘made’ (brought into legal effect) by SDC whereupon it will form part of the statutory development plan for the area and along with adopted Local Plan it will then provide basis any planning applications and appeals. It is a long process and most plans take well over two years to produce.
Due to the Parish Council’s membership of WALC, it has been possible for the group to meet with WALC’s Planning Consultant for two hours, free of charge, to discuss neighbourhood planning and receive advice. He is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and has been assisting at least 7 neighbourhood planning groups within the District as an independent planning consultant with the preparation of their plans. He has provided the Hampton Lucy group with background information and examples of questionnaires.
The NP group has also worked towards the Parish Council’s successful application for a government grant which will help towards the costs of the production of the Neighbourhood Plan. The grant is required for such items as planning consultancy fees for planning advice, assistance with the procedures to be adopted in the production of the plan, sites assessments, assistance with the drafting of policies and so on, Open Day expenses such as room hire, display material, stationery, printing costs for questionnaires, copies of the draft plan for distribution, and production of a website.
SDC can undertake the ‘screening’ to establish if a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) will be required. If so, a grant application for the cost of the SEA would also be needed.
How it works from now on
- Deliver the final questionnaire and analyse the findings
- Writing the Draft Plan (policies)
- Consultation on the Draft Plan
- Independent check and/ examination of the Plan
- Community referendum
- Plan is adopted
Please feel free to come to the meetings
The group holds it meetings as and when required to progress the NP and minutes are produced. Please feel free to come to these meetings, the current members of the group are Jackie Williams, Sue Main, Kate Evans, Cathy Kimberley and Chris Schroder, all of whom are residents within Hampton Lucy Parish.
For more information, please visit the Hampton Lucy Neighbourhood website.