Bath & North East Somerset Council has approved the first Neighbourhood Development Plan for the area, focussing on Stowey Sutton near Bath.
The Plan, drawn up by the Parish Council with local residents, was agreed at the Council’s Cabinet meeting on 9th September.
It will help Bath & North East Somerset Council to determine future planning applications in Stowey Sutton until 2029.
Cllr Tim Warren (Conservative, Mendip), Leader of the Council, said: “We’re very keen to devolve decision making to local communities. I’m aware that a lot of work has gone into preparing this Plan; volunteers have played a key role and I would like to congratulate everyone involved.
“I look forward to seeing more Neighbourhood Plans coming in from across Bath & North East Somerset.”
Neighbourhood Planning is a new initiative giving local people rights to help shape the development of their local communities.
Any policies included within the Neighbourhood Plan need to conform to strategic planning policies and guidance at the local, national and European level.
They also need to demonstrate support from the local community.
Across the country there are 1000 plans in various stages of development. The Stowey Sutton Plan is among the first to be adopted nationwide.
The Stowey Sutton Neighbourhood Plan wants to see sustainable growth by supporting infill housing within the Development Boundary.
The Stowey Sutton Neighbourhood Plan vision is:
- to continue to thrive as vibrant and distinctive villages.
- to continue to respect and reflect the views of its community.
- to evolve and expand whilst retaining the parishes unique and distinctive character.
- to provide an outstanding quality of life for current and future generations of residents.
Keith Betton, Chairman of Stowey Sutton Parish Council, said: “The Neighbourhood Plan has provided local residents with the opportunity to shape the future of their community.
“We were delighted that so many people wanted to get involved and have their say at every stage of the decision making process.
“We believe the Plan will ensure the Parish continues to thrive, whilst retaining its unique character, making it an attractive place to live and work.”
Before being submitted to the Council a referendum on the plan was held. 95% of those who voted made a yes vote (36% turnout).
An independent examiner who examined the plan stated: “The consultation and publicity went well beyond the requirements and it is clear that the qualifying body went to considerable lengths to ensure that local residents were able to engage in the production of the Plan.
“I congratulate them on their efforts, particularly the care they took to hold events at different times of the day and I am very impressed by the dedication of Steering Group Members who went to extraordinary lengths to make themselves available to visit people in their own homes.”
In Bath & North East Somerset there are 12 neighbourhood planning areas. Freshford and Limpley Stoke (plan area partly within Wiltshire) and Clutton Parish Councils went to referendum on Thursday 10th September and are anticipated will be the second and third neighbourhood plans to be adopted in Bath and North East Somerset.
The plan can be found at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplans.