Designed by Ian Parris © Nether Heyford Neighbourhood Plan
Date: Thursday 29th August 2019, Meeting No. 29
Tony Clewett (Chair)
Tom Dodd (Vice Chair)
Sue Corner (Secretary / Treasurer
1. Progress Update
The Plan is now drafted and has been proof read. However, following a meeting with Jennie Johnson of South Northants Council, issues have been raised which need to be addressed before we can consider pre-submission consultation.
1. Housing numbers and mix
We have been strongly advised to hold a housing needs survey to beef up the evidence within our Plan for the number of affordable houses we need to plan for. We had an optional section within the Household Survey held in 2017 which has given us a good indication of need, but is not robust enough to support the Policy. We have contacted SNC’s housing department and been advised that they are partnering with Midlands Rural Housing Association who will undertake housing needs surveys on their behalf. We are chasing SNC for contact details so that we can start the ball rolling.
2. Site Allocations
As with housing numbers, if our evidence for the allocation of sites for development is not as strong as it could be, then our Plan could fail. We used a fair, objective and transparent process to evaluate all nine sites, however, we feel that Neil Pearce, our professional support, should be engaged to examine the process we used and to ensure that the sites we have allocated will stand up to scrutiny during consultation.
We are also waiting for SNC to decide whether the Ridgeway Furlong site can be classed as available for development and therefore included in our Plan.
3. Bugbrooke Road Site
This is the site which Bliss School are interested in for a new school and are currently liaising with Northamptonshire County Council over its future. It is our intention that the Plan supports the school and does not put barriers in the way. There are a number of questions about how we can best achieve this and, once again, we’ll be talking with Neil Pearce to ensure that we take the best approach from a planning perspective.
4. Strategic Envionmental Assessment
We are currently in the middle of opposing opinions about the process we need to follow to determine whether or not our allocated sites require a SEA. On the one hand SNC say that we need to contact the various agencies involved and Neil Pearce categorically states that SNC should undertake this work as part of their ‘duty to support’ including bearing any costs. We will ask Neil to liaise with SNC to resolve.
2. Next Steps
We are endeavouring to secure contact with MRHA to proceed with a housing needs survey as soon as it can be arranged.
A meeting with Neil Pearce is to be arranged in order to agree his input to make the Plan fit for consultation. This can be happening at the same time as the housing needs survey is being undertaken.
It is inevitable that our timetable for completion of the Plan has been impacted and it is now likely to be towards the end of 2020 or early 2021 before we are ready for the referendum.
3. Date of Next Meeting
There is unlikely to be any significant progress before September’s meeting and therefore we’ll meet again on Thursday 31st October at 7.30pm in the Youth Club.