Neighbourhood Plan formally submitted

enp-frontEffingham’s Neighbourhood Plan has reached a landmark stage. Effingham Parish Council has now approved the plan, which has also been ‘Health checked’ by an Independent Examiner. The Plan has now been formally submitted to the Borough Council and enters the ‘Regulation 16’ stage of formal consultation. It will now carry official weight in planning decisions impacting Effingham.

The Plan, which was the subject of a parish-wide survey, received overwhelming support from the majority of Effingham residents. Over 54% of households commented on the plan, mostly expressing their support.

Arnold Pindar, Chairman of Effingham Parish Council, said:

“It was clear from the results of the survey that residents were in strong agreement with the plan which combines innovative policies to protect and conserve wildlife corridors and the character of the village, with small scale housing developments to deliver the sort of homes that local people want and need.”

Paula Moss, Chair of Effingham Neighbourhood Plan Group, (ENPAG), added:

“Our policies to protect wildlife habitats, heritage assets and treasured views received almost universal support from residents. Almost 2/3 of residents supported each of the four sites proposed for new homes. We are delighted by the level of support the plan has received and grateful to the huge amount of work undertaken by residents, at workshops, public meetings and working groups, to help shape the detailed plan. It has truly been a huge community effort.”

The Plan, updated to reflect the views of residents and formal bodies such as Natural England, is now available from the Parish Rooms or via the Parish Council website – www.effinghamparishcouncil.gov.uk  Full details are also available by clicking here:

Effingham Neighbourhood Plan

Guildford Borough Council will now take the plan for further consultation prior to formal examination, and hopefully a recommendation that the plan be put to a referendum of all Effingham residents later this year.

Liz Hogger Borough Councillor for Effingham added:

“This is a huge step for Effingham and a great example of what a community can achieve by working together, with excellent support and advice from Guildford Borough Council planning officers along the way. The Neighbourhood Plan will give Effingham a stronger voice in planning decisions which affect our village and countryside.”

ENPAG approves Draft Plan for presentation to EPC

The Neighbourhood Plan team met last night to review all the proposed policies for inclusion within the preferred draft of the Effingham Neighbourhood Plan. Members voted overwhelmingly on a motion to take forward their preferred draft for presentation to Effingham Parish Council on 19th April 2016.

If accepted by the council, the Draft Plan will then proceed to regulation 14 formal consultation with a planned village wide survey to be conducted in May. If accepted by residents the plan will be submitted to Guildford Borough Council. It will have reached a stage then when it will start to carry real weight in the planning process.

This is an exciting time for Effingham. As many local residents have commented, the influence of the Neighbourhood Plan can already be seen on the redrafted local plan and we hope as we move forward that influence will be greater still. We look forward to taking the plan to residents and working with the community to further improve the ideas in the plan.

 

Community workshops another great step forward for Effingham Neighbourhood Plan

A dedicated group of some 40 residents of Effingham braved cold and rain last Saturday to take part in community workshops on the number of new homes needed in the village, and where they should be built. The workshops, open to anyone in the civil parish, were organised by Effingham Parish Council as the next step in the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan, moving towards the first formal consultation process in May.

Led by parish councillor Paula Moss, the participants considered the results of a Housing Requirements Survey, which suggested around 52 new two-bedroom and one-bedroom homes were needed in the parish, to meet the needs of young families and older couples wanting to down-size. Allowing for some three-bedroom homes as well, the draft Neighbourhood Plan proposes a target of 62 new homes to meet the requirements of Effingham residents, to be built over 15 years.

Recent government guidance on housing targets for Neighbourhood Plans means Guildford Borough’s strategic housing need must also be taken into account, but the constraints of Green Belt limit the number of homes that Effingham can reasonably provide. Sixteen possible sites for new homes were examined and scored using criteria including Green Belt policy, a preference for using previously-developed land, the impact on Effingham’s Conservation Area, traffic implications, the effect on wildlife and potential flooding problems. Following sometimes lively discussion, participants voted in favour of four of the possible sites, enough to accommodate the target number of homes.

Cllr Moss says

“It was very encouraging that so many residents were prepared to give up three hours of their time on a wet Saturday to think hard about the future they wanted for the village. Some residents argued passionately that their children and other young people wanted to stay in the village and needed homes they could afford. Others were equally passionate about wanting to protect our Green Belt countryside.”

“The Neighbourhood Plan needs to get the balance right on the housing target and on allocating land where homes can be built. With support from residents, the Plan can provide the homes we need for a thriving community whilst still protecting our countryside and the character of our beautiful rural village and parish.”

Following nearly three years of consultation with residents, detailed technical discussion with Borough Council planners, and much hard work from local volunteers, the emerging Neighbourhood Plan is heading for formal ‘Regulation 14’ consultation in May. This will include a parish-wide survey, with every household in Effingham receiving a summary of the proposed Plan and a survey form to give their opinion of the Plan. More public events will be held in the run-up to the consultation, including drop-in sessions on draft policies on Environment, Design and Conservation, Community, Infrastructure and the Local Economy. Open to all Effingham residents, details of the sessions can be found on the Village Plan website http://www.effinghamvillageplan.com.

To include the widest range of views on the process, the Parish Council has set up the Effingham Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Group (ENPAG) to advise the Parish Council and make recommendations on the final Plan and consultation. As well as parish councillors, ENPAG members have wide experience and come from different parts of the Effingham community, including schools, churches, environment and conservation groups and Effingham Residents Association.

ENPAG will meet at least once a month, scrutinising the draft Neighbourhood Plan policies and making recommendations for consideration by the Parish Council at its monthly meeting. A particularly important task for ENPAG will be to consider the implications of Guildford’s draft Local Plan, now expected to be published at the beginning of April. The Neighbourhood Plan must by law be consistent with the Local Plan, which sets the strategic planning framework across the Borough.

Cllr Arnold Pindar, the Chairman of Effingham Parish Council, says:

“It has been a long hard road to reach this point in our Neighbourhood Plan, with the planning context from both Government and the Borough Council changing regularly over the three years since we started out. I am immensely grateful both to the volunteers from the community and to parish councillors for all the work they have already put in to draft a very impressive Plan, and look forward to seeing the results of the Advisory Group’s scrutiny and review of the draft before we go out to consultation with the wider community.”

A copy of the presentation can be read by clicking on the link below:

presentation feb 13th workshop v3 100216

And the slides from the exhibitions:

Saturday 13th Site review day v4 100216

 

Progress Update

Prior to Christmas we held an event to publicise the latest draft of our Neighbourhood Plan  and give residents an opportunity to tell us what they thought so far. In addition we submitted the plan to an Independent Examiner to review the technical aspects of the plan.

The results of the health check, along with clarifications of points raised by both GBC and EPC with the Examiner, can be found below:

np-health-check

np-hc-clarification

Since receiving and reviewing the report from one of the leading examiners, the team has been busy redrafting policies to ensure they comply with the very strict technical requirements of Planning Legislation and Guidance. You will see from the clarifications raised with the Examiner that Neighbourhood Planning is far from simple process!

Arnold Pindar, Chair of Effingham Parish Council recently wrote to all residents to inform them of the latest developments and his report along with further notes on the Health Check, can be found below:

chairhalfrep2015-16

A Strategic Environment Assessment screening has also been undertaken on the draft plan. The results of this are very encouraging and can be found below. EPC now plans to hold further discussions with Natural England to make further enhancements to ensure the plan delivers on its objective to conserve the natural environment and heritage of the village.

np-sea-screening

Further Public Meetings are now planned over the next few months to finalise policies under the guidance of a newly formed Effingham Neighbourhood Plan Policy Advisory Group.(ENPAG)

Details of how you can get involved in that process can be found by following this link 

We hope as many residents as possible will join with us to help write the final version of the plan.