What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan is a way of helping local communities to influence the planning of the area in which they live and work. It can be used to:
– Develop a shared vision for your neighbourhood.
– Choose where new homes, shops, offices and other development should be built.
– Identify and protect important local green spaces.
– Influence what new buildings should look like.
The Plan must comply with European Union (EU) requirements and the Human Rights Act 1998. Crucially, it must also conform generally with the strategic policies in the Local Plan Review being carried out by North Dorset District Council.
Who are Blandford+?
In 2013 a number of Councillors and local residents came together to consider the merits and advantages of a joint Neighbourhood Plan incorporating the parishes of Blandford, Blandford St Mary and Bryanston. Their Councils subsequently voted to support this approach and a Steering Group was formed to operate within the confines of the NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING (GENERAL REGULATIONS) 2012.
On 17 February 2014 the Designated Area for the Neighbourhood Plan was approved by North Dorset District Council.
A Steering Group was then established with Councillors from all three parishes, residents and the DT11 Forum Community Partnership (as was).
The current Steering Group (November 2018) includes: –
Sara Loch – Chairman
Sally Gardner – Project Co-ordinator, Blandford Town Council – Group facilitator
Clllr R Carter – Chairman and Mayor, Blandford Forum Town Council
Cllr H White – Blandford Forum Town Council
Cllr M Albery – Blandford St Mary Parish Council
Mr D Addison, MBE – Blandford St Mary Parish Council
Cllr J Stayt – Blandford St Mary Town Council and Blandford Forum Town Council
Cllr B Church – Bryanston Town Council
Cllr C Tompsett – Bryanston Town Council
A number of other councillors and residents provide support via working groups and at supplementary meetings.
Where we are now…
The original Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan (B+NP) passed examination in 2017, but the conditions imposed by the examiner to delete two major policies; Policy 1 – For Development Land to the North & East of Blandford Forum, and Policy 10.4 – The designation of Crown Meadows as a ‘Local Green Space’, were unacceptable to the B+ group.
Soon after the examination, North Dorset District Council (NDDC) announced a shortfall in the 5 Year Housing Land Supply. This rendered their existing Local Plan ‘Out of Date’. Concerned about the impact that this could have for Blandford, the B+ Steering Group wrote to the Secretary of State asking him to intervene. With no Local Plan in place, Blandford could miss out on much needed infrastructure such as a new school, or worse still, become vulnerable to unwanted and unplanned development.
The original B+ NP was withdrawn in May 2018, and since then Blandford+ have been working with NDDC to increase the scope of the new B+NP2 so it can pick up the work from NDDC’s Local Plan ‘Issues and Options’ Consultation to move forward with planning options for the Blandford + area. We are determined to have the new plan in place in early 2019, much sooner than the Local Plan Review would be able to achieve.