Compiled by Vice Chair Rayner Mayer
Neighbourhood Plans form the third tier of the National Policy Planning Framework whose purpose is to promote sustainable development . This is commonly defined as development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
The YDF Neighbourhood Plan will sit under the Local Plan of Hart District Council and will provide planning guidance on how our Parish should evolve over the next 11 years.
Since COP 26 conference in Glasgow last November, we are all much more aware of climate change and the need to halve greenhouse gas emissions this decade. The Plan therefore consider how our physical infrastructure interacts with its natural surroundings and the environment and how planning should be guided by the need to preserve bio-diversity, sustaining eco systems and undertaking local actions to limit the impact of and adapt to our changing climate .
The YDF’s residents were consulted 4 times during drafting of the Plan including a Survey which was delivered to every resident of the Parish. These comments clarified and strengthened the Plan.
The Submission version of the Plan was delivered to Hart District Council in November 2021 who initiated a further period of consultation. This new set of comments together with the Submission version of the Plan was delivered to the Planning Inspector in January 2022..
Planning Inspector’s Conclusions
The Plan is an exceptionally good example of a neighbourhood plan. It is beautifully written and presented. It includes a variety of policies and seeks to bring forward positive and sustainable development in the neighbourhood area. It adds value to the policies in the adopted Local Plan.
The Plan has been underpinned by community support and engagement. It is clear that all sections of the community have been engaged in its preparation.
Subject to a series of recommended modifications set out in this report, the Plan met all the necessary legal requirements and should proceed to referendum.
The proposed date of the referendum will be
Thursday 30 June
at which all registered voters will be eligible to vote
The Plan comprises a set of 15 policy guidelines, with an introductory text to provide the context of how the policy has been evolved. Each policy is described briefly below
NP1 Delivering sustainable development & NP2 Limiting climate change
- Development should be sustainable over their entire duration (NP1).
- To prevent irreversible changes in climate, measures are elucidated which should result in any development consuming less energy and minimising carbon emissions to the environment.
NP3 Promoting biodiversity
To reverse the decline in biodiversity, any new development will have to demonstrate a net gain of 10% appropriate to the nature and scale of the development. Trees will need to be replaced on at least 1;1 ratio while the laying of artificial turf will not be permitted.
NP4 – NP 7 Built and historic environment
Development proposals should –
- Reflect, respect and reinforce Iocal architecture and historic distinctiveness wherever possible (NP4)
- Strengthen local character and create a sense of place and identity (NP5)
- Respect conservation areas within Parish (NP6)
- Protect important views onto surrounding countryside (NP7)
NP8 – NP11 Infrastructure
- Developments should protect and where possible enhance green infrastructure and retain and enhance wild life areas, green spaces and corridors (NP8) .
- Flooding is a major concern within the Parish – so development will be supported which avoids risk of flooding from any source, does not increase risk of flooding elsewhere and does not take place in areas designated by the Environment Agency as being at risk of flooding (NP9)
- Community facilities can be enhanced provided that there is little impact on adjoining residents or the highway network (NP10)
- New developments should be served by fibre optic cables wherever possible (NP11)
Development will be supported which
- Provides a mix of dwelling types and prioritises smaller housing
- Provides affordable housing
- Makes provision for older persons accommodation which meets identified needs
NP13 – NP 14 Employment
Continued use of Blackbushe Airport for aviation will be supported (NP13)
Proposals will be supported which assist with working from home (NP14)
NP15 Promoting active travel
Development will be supported where it maximises the use of sustainable modes of transport including pedestrian and cycle links
Community ambitions , listed in the Plan, are being taken forward by YCAN, Yateley’s Climate Action Plan. The full text including Appendices and supporting documents are available on the Current Documents Page while copies of these documents can be consulted in Yateley library.