Blunsdon East Neighbourhood Plan (BENP) Update, October 2019.
Following the public consultation of the draft BENP from 4th May to 15th June 2019, the BENP team has considered all comments made from residents, statutory consultees and developers and modified the draft where appropriate. All the comments and the BENP team’s responses can be found on the BENP Website – www.Blunsdon.info – along with the modified draft BENP.
The final version of the BENP has been submitted to Swindon Borough Council so that they can publicise it, make it available for inspection and invite anyone interested to comment on it by a specified date (not less than 6 weeks from it being publicised). This stage is estimated to be completed by November 2019.
This final version of the BENP can also be found on the BENP Website. For people unable to access the Website please contact the Parish Council clerk, Tracey Judd on 705617 during office hours and she will be able to assist you in viewing the document.
The Borough will appoint an independent examiner who will scrutinise the BENP and supporting information and also a copy of any comments received during the 6 week consultation period. The examiner will be considering if the plan:
- meets the basic conditions;
- has appropriate regard to national policy;
- contributes to the achievement of sustainable development;
- is in general conformity with SBC’s Local Development Plan;
- is compatible with human rights requirements;
- is compatible with EU obligations.
The examiner will then issue a report, probably in December 2019, which may:
- suggest further modifications or
- recommend the plan proceed to the referendum stage.
- conclude that the plan does not meet the basic conditions and no modifications can be made to ensure that it meets those conditions so in that case the plan would not proceed to the referendum.
If the plan needs to be modified the Borough must publicise the details of the modification and where it can be inspected.
If the plan is found to be satisfactory, with modifications if necessary, then the Borough will arrange and publicise for the referendum to take place, hopefully, February/March 2020. If more than 50% of those voting in the referendum vote to support it, then the Borough will bring the plan into force at their next full council meeting maybe April 2020. I will continue to update you on the progress of the plan in later editions of the village magazine.
Although the timescale for legally adopting the BENP is still some 8 months away, once adopted, it forms part of Swindon’s planning laws and cannot be ignored. I look forward to the referendum in April 2020 if all goes according to plan.
Chairman BENP Steering Group
A Steering Group of Parish Councillors and volunteers has been established to draw together a Neighbourhood Plan for Blunsdon. Its contents will be legally binding on the Local Planning Authority and concerned with future land use (housing, employment, open spaces, leisure and infrastructure). This is a formal process as it is led by legislation and means that the needs of the community will be legally recognised.
The current composition of the Steering Group is - Trevor Morton-Holmes (Chairman), Ian Jankinson (PC), Peter McSparron-Edwards, Andy Marshall, Simon Clarke, and Stuart Boyd (PC), Sandra Keates, supported by PC Clerk Tracey Judd and Rachel Smith.
There are also over 20 volunteers to help out when needed on specific projects. For the latest news please click on “News” at the top of this page, where regular updates will be provided. So what exactly is a Neighbourhood Plan? To find out more click on ‘FAQ’s’ at the top of this page.