Stonehouse Town's Neighbourhood Development Plan
Stonehouse Town Council and members of the community have prepared a statutory Neighbourhood Development Plan for Stonehouse under new powers granted by the government (the Localism Act 2011). Neighbourhood Development Plans give communities direct power to plan the areas in which they live - but they relate only to the use and development of land in their area.
In order to be adopted it has to be voted on in a referendum. If the “yes” vote wins the Neighbourhood Plan then has to be adopted by the District Council.
A neighbourhood planning working group was set up to oversee the development of the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan.
A draft Stonehouse Neighbourhood Development Plan and other relevant documents were submitted to Stroud District Council in March 2017.
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
Neighbourhood planning is a new way for communities to decide the future of the places where they live and work.
The government has introduced the community right to do neighbourhood planning through the Localism Act.
General regulations governing neighbourhood planning came into effect in April 2012.
Regulations on the referendum stage came into force in August 2012.
Neighbourhood development plans or orders do not take effect unless there is a majority of support in a referendum of the neighbourhood.
They also have to meet a number of conditions before they can be put to a community referendum and legally come into force. These conditions are to ensure plans are legally compliant and take account of wider policy considerations (e.g. national policy).
The conditions are:
- they must have regard to national planning policy
- they must contribute to the achievement of sustainable development
- they must be in general conformity with strategic policies in the development plan for the local area (i.e. such as in a Local Plan)
- they must be compatible with EU obligations and human rights requirements.
An independent qualified person then checks that a neighbourhood development plan or order appropriately meets the conditions before it can be voted on in a local referendum. This is to make sure that referendums only take place when proposals are workable and of a decent quality.
If proposals pass the referendum, the local planning authority is under a legal duty to bring them into force. The plan will become a statutory document which will be taken into account when planning applications are considered and planning proposals are made.
The Plan So Far
In March 2013 Stonehouse Town Council formed a working group of residents and members to oversee the development of the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan.
On 12th September 2013 Stroud District Council's Environment Committee approved the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Area Designation and Stonehouse Town Council as the qualifying body for the production of a neighbourhood plan.
Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Working Group has been meeting regularly since July 2013. Meetings, usually held fortnightly at Stonehouse Town Hall on Thursday evenings, are open to the public who are welcome to attend.
Since January 2014, the working group has carried out public consultation on issues for the Neighbourhood Plan, a vision and objectives and emerging policies. They have held consultation meetings with a range of local groups and have been collecting evidence to support policy development. Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC) have advised on planning public consultations and provided analysis of the results.
From July 2015 to March 2016 the group worked on policy development and appointed a planning consultant who provided expert advice on drafting policies for the Neighbourhood Plan.
A draft plan was approved at the Town Council Annual General Meeting, 23 May 2016. The draft Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan was open to a 6 week public consultation period from 1st July to 12 August 2016. Responses to all representations were prepared by Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Group. A submission draft of the plan was prepared and approved at a Town Council meeting of 23rd January 2017. The draft Plan and supporting documents were submitted to Stroud District Council in March 2017.
Stroud District Council arrange for independent examination of the plan to check it meets basic conditions and can proceed to a referendum within its designated area. The draft Neighbourhood Plan gains “weight” in planning terms as it goes through this process. A referendum will follow, possibly in August 2017, although the date has not yet been confirmed.
Whilst members of Stonehouse Town Council are closely involved in the working group, it is important to emphasise that this is a community project. The working group welcome the involvement of all residents and businesses and wish to hear from anyone with views on how we shape, protect and enhance Stonehouse. To get involved or to find out more please contact Rachel Russell, Neighbourhood Plan Administrator, on firstname.lastname@example.org, 01453 822070 or drop into the Town Hall.
|Document||Date Uploaded||Type||Size||Download Link|
|Application for Proposed Neighbourhood Plan Area||July 11, 2013||66.5kb||Download File|
|Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Designated Boundary||July 22, 2013||471kb||Download File|
|SDC Environment Committee Report - Neighbourhood Designation||September 12, 2013||91kb||Download File|
|Stonehouse Designated as a Neighbourhood Area||September 12, 2013||External||61kb||Download File|
Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Working Group Terms of Reference
|May 23, 2014||48kb||Download File|
Other Documents Supporting the Neighbourhood Plan
Stonehouse Design Statement - 2005:
This document sets out to explain how the requirements of Stroud District Council’s Local Plan (2005) may be applied to Stonehouse. Its key message is that any development should be in keeping with its immediate surroundings.
|Document||Date Uploaded||Type||Size||Download Link|
|Stonehouse Design Statement||December 05, 2013||2mb||Download File|
Stroud District Council - Planning Strategy including the Stroud Local Plan
The Department for Communities and Local Government have published a set of resources that local Parishes will find further information regarding Neighbourhood Plans:
Further information can also be found here:
View the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Submission draft