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.
One aspect of the Localism Act that impacts upon Neighbourhood Forum’s is the need to renew Forum status every 5 years. This relates to the lifecycle of the planning process which now requires Local Planning authorities to update their plans every 5 years. Many of you will be aware that Poole has recently undertaken a major consultation on the greenbelt and the new Local Plan. The latter will replace the current Core Strategy and Development Management policies early next year. At about the same time Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum will come to the end of its first five years, so to ensure continuity, we have been preparing our renewal application which should be ready for submission to Poole Council for approval at the end of October. This will enable us to continue with the implementation and monitoring of the Neighbourhood Plan, carry out further consultation work on a masterplan for the centre and prepare for a future review of the Broadstone Plan. Details of all these activities will be posted on the Forum’s website. If you would like to become involved in our work and help us plan for Broadstone’s future please contact us by email: email@example.com
Chair, Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum