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

Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan 2015 – 2030, as made by West Dorset District Council on the 7th December 2017, can be downloaded as a pdf file by clicking the link above or on (Note: this link moved from bottom of this page to make the adopted Plan easier to find) 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. Following Public Consultations in 2012, 2014, and 2015, the Working Group completed a draft Neighbourhood Plan in Autumn 2015. Following approval by the Parish Council this was submitted to West Dorset District Council in early 2016 along with supporting documents. Please see the Submitted Documents here. An Independent Examiner was appointed in March 2016 who, after raising some issues about our plan, unfortunately resigned in September that year for personal reasons. The Parish Council then obtained a Legal Opinion which supported our belief that her main issue about our public consultation was unfounded. A new Independent Examiner was appointed in Spring 2017, and produced his report at the end of June 2017, which recommended that or plan, with certain modifications, could go forward to referendum. Both Independent Examiners’ reports, together with all the submitted documents can be viewed at The Parish Council was not happy with the final report as it felt the modifications made might mean that some of our objectives may not be achievable, particularly regarding the affordable housing provision. A meeting with West Dorset District Council planning and legal officers on the 17th July was not fruitful; they insisted we have to accept the Independent Examiner’s modifications to our plan in full and cannot alter them if we wished to go to referendum. The options on whether to go ahead to referendum with the modifications, to go back several stages and produce a new plan, or to abandon the plan altogether were put to the parishioners in August 2017. A majority voted to continue with the modified plan to referendum. The referendum on the Buckland Newton Neighbourhood Plan was held by West Dorset District Council on the 2nd November 2017, and the results can be viewed at ROP BucklandNewton Final.pdf. The Plan was subsequently “made” at a Full Council meeting of West Dorset District Council on the 7th December 2017. You can view the Decision Statement here, and this means the Plan (as modified in accordance with the Examiner's recommendations) is part of the development plan for the Buckland Newton neighbourhood area and will be used to help decide planning applications in the area.

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

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. See more at: planning

Parish and Neighbourhood Planning

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