Parish and Neighbourhood Plans Buckland Newton Community Planning
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Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan

At the beginning of 2011, Buckland Newton Parish Council decided to start on the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish. A Working Group was set up of both Parish Councillors and other Parishioners who were interested in taking part in this project.  The area for our Neighbourhood Plan was approved in February 2013 and covers the whole of the Civil Parish of Buckland Newton. A Neighbourhood Plan will allow us, as a community, to decide what happens in our own Parish in the future (within certain limits and parameters). These plans will be used to decide the future of the places where you live and work, and can include giving opportunities to: choose where you want new homes, shops and offices to be built have your say on what new buildings should look like grant planning permission for the new buildings you want to see go ahead.

Buckland Newton Parish Plan

After further discussion in October 2011, the Parish Council agreed to additionally prepare a Parish Plan at the same time as the Neighbourhood Plan. These would jointly be called the Buckland Newton Community PlanParish Plans differ from Neighbourhood Plans, in that they deal with topics not covered by the Planning Acts and Regulations. There is no set format, and can cover whatever needs, hopes and issues the Parishioners wish. These can include, for example:     • Speeding traffic • Dog fouling     • Sports facilities • Grass cutting     • Broadband speed • Recycling facilities     • Clearing footpaths • Youth clubs     • Transport to doctor • Allotments  A typical Parish Plan lists the parishioners’ issues that have been identified and include a realistic action plan and timetable to try to resolve them wherever possible.  The Parish Plan for Buckland Newton was completed in Autumn 2013 and approved by the Parish Council.  It can be downloaded as a pdf file by clicking the link or on
’ page and then review the contents of the ‘Proposed Sites’ and ‘Local Issues’ pages.  Please then record your thoughts on Neighbourhood Plan Mission Statement Like other Neighbourhood Plans being drawn up, we have a 'Mission Statement' and 'Strategic Objectives' to help guide the direction and content of our Plan.

Mission Statement

"To maintain Buckland Newton Parish as a thriving rural community, and to ensure its long term future by working towards meeting the needs of those who live and work in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty."

Strategic Objectives

To aim to meet diverse local housing needs taking into account changing demographics and social requirements To keep housing development to a small scale, designed to a high quality which is sustainable and is complementary to neighbouring properties To support existing business, encourage new enterprises and facilities which will enhance commercial effectiveness and employment opportunities To preserve the long term future of the area by retaining and, if possible, enhancing local services and facilities, promoting a safe and healthy community To protect and enhance the natural and built environment of the Parish including its landscape, built heritage, archaeological sites and wildlife habitats.  To reduce vulnerability to the impact of severe weather i.e. flooding, etc

Independent Examination

The submitted draft Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan is now with the Independent Examiner, Ms Ann Skippers, MRTPI.  Ms Skippers is a past President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, and has carried out more than 10 neighbourhood plan examinations. When considering the content of a neighbourhood plan, the independent examiner’s role is limited to testing whether or not a draft neighbourhood plan meets the basic conditions, and other matters set out in paragraph 8 of Schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended). The independent examiner is not testing the soundness of a neighbourhood plan or examining other material considerations. It is expected that the examination of a draft neighbourhood plan will not include a public hearing. Rather the examiner should reach a view by considering written representations. The consultation period for representations to be submitted has now closed. Where the independent examiner considers it necessary, she may decide to hold a hearing to listen to oral representations about a particular issue. The subject of a hearing is determined by the independent examiner based on their initial views of the draft plan proposals and any other supporting documents submitted by the qualifying body and the representations received from interested parties. The next stages are: The independent examiner completes the examination The independent examiner issues a report to West Dorset District Council (WDDC) and Buckland Newton Parish Council WDDC publishes the report WDDC considers the report and reaches its own view WDDC takes the decision on whether to send the plan to referendum

What is Neighbourhood Planning?

The Localism Act 2011 introduced statutory Neighbourhood Planning in England. It enables communities to draw up a Neighbourhood Plan for their area and is intended to give communities more of a say in the development of their local area (within certain limits and parameters).  These plans will be used to decide the future of the places where you live and work. Once a Plan has been finalised it will have to be checked by an Independent Examiner to make sure it complies with the District Council Local Plan and any National Policies.  There will then be a referendum of all the Parish Electors, and if a majority vote in favour of the Plan it will be adopted as part of the Local Plan. The Strategic Environmental Assessment Screening Report is now included on this website.  Click above to view. See more at:

Parish and Neighbourhood Planning

Plan submission

The Parish Council has taken into account the comments and representations received from both the parishioners and statutory consultees in the public consultations last year, and has made and agreed final amendments to the draft neighbourhood plan. The Parish Council has now submitted the draft plan, along with the required supporting documentation, to West Dorset District Council. Please click here to go to these documents.