Final statutory consultation for Broadstone Neighbourhood Plan

10th November—22nd December 2017

Looking west along Clarendon Road – from McCarthy and Stone crane

Poole Borough Council is consulting on the Broadstone Neighbourhood Plan prior to submission for examination by a Government Inspector. The consultation begins on Friday 10th November at midday and ends at midnight on 22nd December. This is the last chance to have your say, with all comments being passed directly to the examiner for his/her consideration.

 

Pocket Park

The draft plan and supporting documents can be accessed here but the consultation questionnaire can only be accessed on-line at the Borough of Poole’s website: www.poole.gov.uk/broadstoneplan If you prefer to use a hard copy these may be obtained from Broadstone Library, the Post office and the Junction Sports Centre. It is expected that Molly’s, Candy Chocs, the Cargo Lounge and Forum Jewellers will also have supplies of the summary leaflet and questionnaire.

We would urge residents to support the plan which contains policies which protect additional areas of open space, require high quality and sustainable design for all new buildings, seek to protect our community facilities and encourage a vibrant and more attractive centre. There are no proposals to remove parking from the Broadway.

We would urge you all to respond to the consultation and support the plan which reflects the wishes of residents to manage the need for housing for young and old, to respect our green spaces and wildlife corridors, and to ensure Broadstone remains a desirable place to live, work and play.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – November 2017

Poole Council’s Place overview and Scrutiny committee met on October 4th and unanimously voted to recommend the Broadstone Neighbourhood Plan should go to public consultation and independent examination. Subject to Cabinet approval the consultation will begin in early November. The Plan, and all its supporting documents are already on our website – http://broadstoneneighbourhood.uk/ – as well as the Council’s – www.poole.gov.uk/broadstoneplan

The consultation will last for 6 weeks and we would urge residents to use this opportunity to support the Plan. The ten policies, which are specific to Broadstone, are extremely important because planning officers will have to apply them when assessing future Broadstone planning applications. These policies have been developed in response to what you told us you wanted, in particular, to :

  • protect more of our green spaces
  • achieve high quality building design and housing in the most appropriate places
  • make Broadstone centre a safer and more attractive place to visit, full of vitality
  • encourage sustainable building and construction methods
  • keep all our community facilities
  • to get the right balance between cars and pedestrians

The plan has six distinct sections:

Section 0 sets out the legal requirements and explains how the Neighbourhood Plan fits into the Local and National planning systems. It also provides a summary of the consultation processes.

Section 1 describes Broadstone’s past, present and future. It identifies specific periods of growth, each with its own character, then describes Broadstone today, including the built environment, green spaces, demographics, community facilities and economy. The final part examines the need for a masterplan, includes some of the early ideas but stresses none of these are part of this neighbourhood plan.

Section 2 sets out how the plan fulfils the Government’s requirements for sustainable development. It also identifies the key issues raised during previous consultations and links them to the three elements of sustainable development, namely environmental, social and economic. The section ends with a vision statement for Broadstone, the identification of nine core objectives for the plan and a summary of how these relate to planning principles and the policies as presented in Section 3.

Section 3 commences with a proposals map highlighting key elements in the plan. This is followed by detailed discussions supporting the the ten policies. BP1 & BP2 designate small local areas as public open spaces to protect them from inappropriate development.

BP3 sets criteria to conserve natural features, protect against loss of biodiversity on-site and on wider local wildlife corridors. BP4 sets design principles to enhance sustainability and energy efficiency of new development. BP5 seeks to encourage higher density accommodation on inner zones and family housing in the outer zones of Broadstone. BP6 seeks to retain bungalows as single storey dwellings on the Fairview Estate to retain accommodation suitable for older people. BP7 seeks high quality retail development and improvements to the public realm in the central shopping area of Broadstone. BP8 promotes well designed residential extensions to complement and reflect the prevailing pattern of development. BP9 encourages additional town centre type uses to improve commercial vitality and viability of the central area of Broadstone. BP10 Seeks to resist the loss of existing community facilities in Broadstone, providing guidance on where loss may be acceptable.

Section 4 outlines the way in which the policies within the plan will be implemented and monitored. Section 5 consists of several appendices including a glossary of terms, evidence base, housing needs assessment and a detailed consultation statement. Most of these exist as separate documents.

If you are unable to access the documents on-line, hard copies will be available in Broadstone Library and members of the Forum will be on-hand each Saturday morning, between 10.00am and midday, throughout the consultation period – November 10th to December 22nd – to answer any questions you may have about the plan or the consultation process.

Mike Brooke
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – October 2017

Progress has been made since last month’s update and it is now possible to confirm that the Neighbourhood Plan meets all the Basic Requirements. In other words, all the legal and statutory requirements have been met and the text and policies comply with both the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework, Poole’s current Core Strategy and the emerging Local Plan. Several minor amendments are currently being made in response to the consultant’s advice following the Basic Needs assessment. These will be completed in a few days and then all will be ready for the next stage: scrutiny by Poole Council’s Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the 4th October and presentation to Cabinet on 31st October.

The final public consultation is being scheduled to begin on Monday November 13th and last for 6 weeks, until 22nd December. Following this consultation, any comments received, together with all the documentation, will be submitted to an independent examiner in early January. If the examiner is satisfied with everything then the final stage is a referendum. It is not possible to give a date for this yet but it could be sometime in April. However, under new Government legislation, once the inspector has approved the plan it becomes a legal document that Poole’s planning officers and committee members would have to follow. It is noticeable at this stage in the Plan’s development that some consultants are already referring to it in their submissions to the Local Planning Authority, though technically the policies cannot be used in the decision-making process yet.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – September 2017

After four and a half years of evidence collecting, numerous consultations and even more revisions, the final version of the Draft Neighbourhood Plan is finished at last. This, together with updated documents have now been sent to the planning consultant who has been tasked with producing the necessary Basic Conditions Report. Subject to a positive response, a final public consultation will be scheduled by the Borough of Poole and the Draft Plan, together with all supporting documents, will be posted on both the Council’s the Forum’s websites. Hopefully more details will be available in time for next month’s update. Immediately following the consultation, the Draft Plan will be submitted to a Government Inspector for examination.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – July 2017

I should have learned by now not to make predictions. In last month’s up-date I stated that we would have received the Basic Conditions report by the beginning of June, and that we would be moving the plan forward through the next stages. Unfortunately, as has been the case on previous occasions, another issue has arisen which has delayed us yet again.

For the last four years Poole Planning department has been consulting on and reviewing its local plan. This was first approved in 2009 which means it needs to be brought up to date. Coincidentally, it is at the same development stage as our Neighbourhood plan, and hence the issue we are currently wrestling with. A Neighbourhood plan must be in general conformity with the Local plan. For the last four years, as Broadstone’s Neighbourhood Plan has taken shape we have ensured the content, including the policies, has not only been aligned with those in the Borough of Poole’s 2009 Local plan (Core Strategy) but also with the ever-changing National Planning Policy Framework. We now find that we are having to rewrite large sections of the plan to ensure it conforms to the emerging Local plan which may just be in place before ours is adopted. Even if the Broadstone Neighbourhood plan is approved first it would still have to be aligned with Poole’s new Local plan. The consequence of this is a further delay. We have re-arranged for the Basic Needs Assessment to be carried out later in July. In addition, a date has been set (September 19th) for presentation to the Borough of Poole’s Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee, following which, with Cabinet approval, the plan will go out to final consultation.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – June 2017

On several occasions in the past we have mentioned the need for a Health Check prior to submission of the plan to the Borough of Poole. Shortly after our Annual General meeting at the end of March we passed the plan and all supporting documents to the consultants scheduled to carry out the Health Check. Although such an exercise is not a statutory requirement we felt it would be very helpful to obtain the view of an independent planning expert.

We received the detailed report towards the end of April, and although there is quite a bit more work to do to ensure the plan meets the Government’s very stringent requirements, it was pleasing to read the overview. The following quote is taken directly from the report. “The plan is a well presented document, with the right balance between the description of the area and the development plan policies looking forward and makes good use of maps and photographs. It is an easy read and appears very professional. There is extensive evidence of public consultation and liaison with the existing business community within the plan area.” There are some criticisms which we will have to respond to if we are to ensure the plan is in general conformity with the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework and the Borough of Poole’s Core Strategy/revised Local Plan. The report provides us with appropriate advice. We are currently working on the changes so that, by the time you read this, the plan will have undergone its Basic Conditions testing and should be ready for submission to the Borough of Poole.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum; Annual Report, 30th March 2017

This last year has been something of a rollercoaster ride, with highs and lows. The year started well. Following the 2016 Annual General Meeting we frantically brought all the Neighbourhood Plan documentation up to date and uploaded to our website www.broadstoneneighbourhood.uk ready for the statutory Regulation 14 consultation. This was scheduled to commence on April 13th and last for 6 weeks, though we extended the deadline slightly to May 31st. The launch of the consultation was accompanied by several press releases, but unfortunately some of the headlines proved to be rather controversial and consequently caused something of a distraction. Several people responded to the headlines and images without any reference to the content of the plan.

We are grateful to Broadstone library for allowing us to display the plans for the whole of the consultation period, during which time Forum members spoke to over a hundred residents. Saturday mornings provided a further opportunity to talk to residents about the plan from our small stall outside Budgens. The level of interest was encouraging and the quality of responses on the completed questionnaires gave us food for thought.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – May 2017

Since our Annual General Meeting at the end of March we have received confirmation that we have been awarded another Government grant. While this is not as much as we had hoped for, it will help us to progress the Neighbourhood Plan through its final stages prior to a referendum. Everyone within the plan area will then have an opportunity to vote for or against the plan. Those who have followed its evolution will know it is not overly ambitious. It does not identify any potential development sites, nor does it propose any changes to the central commercial area. Rather, it sets out policies which focus on the protection of our green spaces and community facilities whilst requiring any new build to be of the highest possible design standards.

The plan, however, does recognise the existence of several issues which need to be addressed if the long-term vision of a safe and welcoming environment is to be achieved. No specific solutions to these issues are proposed, but our consultations with residents and businesses have demonstrated a strong desire for the development of a masterplan for Broadstone. As this is a complex process we recently applied for technical support to help us get started. We have just heard that our application has been successful and that a specialist consultant has been appointed to work with us over the next four months. This will kick start the process and, in doing so, will almost certainly involve public meetings and the opportunity to have your say.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum – April 2017

If ever there were a process in which the goal posts keep changing, then neighbourhood planning would be it. I referred in last month’s update to some local factors that could impact upon the neighbourhood plan. In addition to Local Government we now have National Government raising potential issues for us.

At Local Government level, Poole Planning Authority has been undertaking a major review of its Local Plan. A key element under discussion was the increase in housing need from 500 new homes per year to over 700. Inevitably some of these will be located in Broadstone, though space for new houses is very limited. Fortunately, our own Housing Needs Assessment is sufficiently up to date to have taken this issue into consideration. As a result, our housing policies also reflect the change while emphasising the need for good and sustainable design. We have also managed to anticipate potential policy changes, especially with regard to the development and location of new flats.

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Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum AGM

The 2017 Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum AGM is on 30th March at 7:30 to 9:30 at St. John’s Church Hall, Macaulay Road, Broadstone. Everyone is welcome.

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