The Localism Act (2011) introduced a mechanism for local communities to produce Neighbourhood Plans (NP) for their area, enabling them to have a greater say in the future of their areas. The Council actively supports neighbourhood planning and Neighbourhood Plans (NPS) for Overton, and Oakley and Deane were ‘made’ in 2016. These NPs now form part of the Development Plan for their respective areas and are used in the determination of relevant planning applications. The Bramley Neighbourhood Plan (Bramley NP) is the third NP in the Borough to reach the final stage of production.

The considerations outlined in this report support delivery of each of the Council Plan priorities – preparing for controlled and sustainable growth, improving residents’ quality of life and supporting those who need it. More directly it supports the following priorities:

  • Create jobs and opportunities by supporting new and existing businesses.
  • Support provision of quality homes, affordable to all through growth and regeneration.
  • Invest in our Infrastructure.
  • Maintain and enhance our built and natural environment.
  • Promote strong communities.

The proposal and key issues

The production of a NP must follow a regulatory process and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended (by the Localism Act 2011) and Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 set out key stages in the preparation of such plans. These key stages are summarised below. The Bramley NP has reached the final stage (stage g):

  1. Designation of a neighbourhood area – The area covered by the neighbourhood plan needs to be agreed by the borough council.
  2. Preparation of a draft neighbourhood plan – The ‘qualifying body’1 , then prepares the draft neighbourhood plan and evidence base.
  3. Pre-submission publicity and consultation – The Plan is submitted for Pre-submission publicity and consultation for a minimum of 6 weeks.
  4. Submission of the draft plan – The ‘qualifying body’ formally submits the neighbourhood plan to the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The LPA checks whether the plan accords with the relevant legislation, publicises the Plan for 6 weeks and appoints an Independent Examiner.
  5. Independent Examination – The NP is examined by an Independent Examiner to assess whether the NP meets the basic conditions. The Examiner then issues a report, if the report is positive and the borough council agrees with it, the NP is then subject to referendum.
  6. Referendum – The borough council organises a referendum, and then publishes the results.
  7. Adoption – The NP is ‘made’ by the borough council.

From the votes recorded, of those who voted 95% were in favour of the plan. The turnout of electors was 33%.

Section 38A(4)(a) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires the Council to ‘make’ a NP if more than half of those voting in a referendum have voted in favour of it. The making of a NP is therefore a legal requirement following a positive outcome of a referendum, save for in narrow circumstances where adoption of the plan would breach, or otherwise be incompatible with, any EU or human rights obligations1 . The council has assessed and concluded that the plan, including its preparation, does not breach, and would not otherwise be incompatible with, any EU obligation or any of the Convention rights (within the meaning of the Human Rights Act 1998). The Examiner’s Report also stated that the Bramley NP does not breach the European Convention on Human Rights obligations. Therefore the LPA is now under a statutory duty to ‘make’ the Bramley NP.

The Bramley NP will be used in the determination of planning applications that fall within the parish of Bramley. Its effectiveness will be monitored annually and the need to review the Bramley NP in due course will be considered as part of this process.

Options of the Council Committee

As outlined above, the making of the Plan is mandatory given the outcome of the referendum and legislative assessment, and therefore the options in this regard are limited. (Editor: essentially this means that legally the plan can only be voted for and can’t be voted against).

Legal and Financial Implications

Upon being ‘made’, Bramley NP will be subject to a statutory period of time (six weeks) within which a legal challenge can be lodged.

Once the Bramley NP is ‘made’, 25% of Community Infrastructure Levy receipts generated from development within Bramley parish will be passed to the Parish Council.

Consultation and Communication

Following the Full Council decision, Bramley Parish Council, and others who asked to be informed, will be notified that the Bramley NP has been ‘made’. The Plan and supporting documents, including a decision statement, will be published on the Council’s website and made available, in line with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 and the Council’s adopted Statement of Community Involvement. The Bramley NP will be available to purchase and to view at Basingstoke and Chineham libraries

1: Section 38A(6) Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 as amended

Last updated: March 29, 2017 at 11:56 am