Sturminster Newton Neighbourhood Plan
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan is a new type of statutory plan which will give our local community more control than previously over the type, location, and design of development in this area. Once prepared it will be the subject of a local referendum prior to adoption by North Dorset District Council.
This plan will have a very local focus. Public consultation and involvement is a crucial part of the process; local residents and businesses decide what issues are important and what needs to be covered in the Neighbourhood Plan. Policies could cover issues such as
future housing and business opportunities, the vibrancy of the town centre and the protection of open spaces. You may well have other ideas or views about what the plan should contain. The plan’s commissioning body is the Sturminster Newton Town Council. Once adopted, the policies in the Sturminster Newton Neighbourhood Plan will have legal weight in planning decisions affecting the town.
The Neighbourhood Plan are covers Sturminster, Town Bridge, Newton, Broad Oak, Bagber, Rolls Mill, Hosey Bridge, Puxey, Rixon, Rivers Corner and everywhere in between.
Where are we in the process?
Our Plan has been submitted to North Dorset District Council for them to take it to the final stage when an external examiner will be appointed. He/she will review the content, ask questions and possibly require some amendment. Then the plan will be approved for referendum. This is the point at which local residents have the opportunity to vote for or against the Plan.
How did we get to this point?
From information collected from the community at our official launch in March 2014, we produced a plan of work that specified areas that we needed more detailed information. These included, physical planning of the town centre, business commerce and jobs, housing, renewable energy and local facilities.
In the summer of 2014 we carried out work shops and focus groups in order to prepare information to present to the community at a major public consultation in November 2014. You can view the report of this consultation by clicking here
From Spring 2015, using the results of our public consultation, we produced our Vision and Aims for the town and you can view these by clicking here
We have also worked on the detail of these aims and worked toward options and policies which are now enshrined within the Plan. You can view these defined aims by clicking here
During the summer of 2015 the NP Group got out and about all over the parish carrying out detailed surveys of special buildings, views, and open spaces. Each was evaluated using a set of criteria specially created by our consultant partners Matrix Partnership. The objective was to ensure that those of importance are protected for the future. We also carried out a survey of all the important buildings and places that are used by members of the community, they include a wide variety from church halls to the Leisure Centre and Library. We also visited all the housing sites that have been evaluated by North Dorset District Council as sites put forward by landowners as potential sites.
In the Autumn of 2015 we held a major public consultation where we presented for comments the research that had taken place during the year. Click here for the summary report of this event.
During 2016, using all the data collected, we have produced our draft Neighbourhood Plan. The draft was approved for final consultation in October 2016. There will be a final stage of local consultation (see NEWS) and then the plan will be submitted to North Dorset Local Council for them to continue to the final stage.
Final changes were made during 2017 in consultation with the steering group, the Town Council and advisors from North Dorset District Council.
Who produced it?
A project team of local interested volunteers carried out the work under the direction and guidance of a principal Steering Group. The chairman of the Steering Group, District Councillor Michael Roake, reports progress to the Town Council on a regular basis.